Understanding Nipple Pain: Causes, Treatment, and More

Nipple Pain Symptoms

The most common symptoms of nip-related pain are:

Aching or burning sensation in your nipples (this may be worse when you are sleeping)

Sharp pain in your nipples (which may cause you to scratch them with your nails)

Soreness or redness around the area where the pain occurs

Feeling lightheaded if you have been awake for long periods of time

Trouble concentrating because of the pain

Difficulty breathing due to the pain

Loss of appetite (you may eat less than usual)

You might experience other symptoms such as: dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness or numbness in your hands and feet. You might even feel like you are going to pass out from the pain. These symptoms are often accompanied by a feeling of fatigue.

If these symptoms occur at night then they will usually disappear during the day.

There are several things which could trigger your nip-related pain symptoms. Some of these include:

Being awake too late (even though you were asleep)

Going to bed early (even though you had planned to sleep later)

Drinking alcohol or taking drugs before going to bed (although it doesn’t seem likely that drinking alcohol would make your nipples hurt)

If any of these things happen then it’s best to go back to sleep immediately. Since you may have been asleep or in a zone that is associated with dreaming, your body may be experiencing an adrenaline rush. The pain will usually disappear once the adrenaline has worn off.

Possible Causes of Nipple Pain

Nip-related pain usually occurs when you are sleeping. This can cause you to fall asleep and wake up suddenly due to the pain. When this happens, the pain will usually disappear after a few minutes.

There are many possible causes of this type of pain and they include:

1. Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can cause your body to produce higher levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This may lead to a higher number of estrogen related side effects, such as intense chest pain or sensitivity in your nipples. The pain can range from a mild tingling to a severe burning sensation in your nipples.

If you are using birth control pills, this may help to alleviate the pain. You could also try changing your brand of birth control pills to see if the level of hormones is different.

2. Sleep Deprivation

A lack of sleep can lead to a number of health issues, including increased stress levels and an inability to focus. One of the side effects of sleep deprivation is increased pain in your nipples. If you are working too hard and not getting enough sleep, then the pain will probably be more frequent.

This can make it quite difficult to fall asleep (and stay asleep) at night.

3. Menopause

During menopause, your body’s ability to produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone diminishes. This is a natural process which occurs in all women as part of the aging process. During this time, the levels of these hormones in your blood will drop to a level that cannot be maintained by your body.

As a result, your body undergoes “chemical changes”. The most common of these changes is the appearance of hot flashes, which are commonly referred to as “hot flushes”.

Hot flashes and night sweats are the most common symptoms that you may experience. As the number and severity of hot flashes increase, they can lead to intense burning or throbbing sensations in your chest area. These sensations are usually at their worst during the night when you are sleeping.

This can make it almost impossible to get any shut-eye. Night sweats, on the other hand, are an increase in your body’s natural temperature (usually at night). This can lead to excessive night time sweating and awakeness.

There are several different treatment options for menopausal women experiencing these symptoms. One of the most effective treatments is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This is a medical procedure in which you are given a dose of hormones similar to those your body would produce naturally.

This helps to alleviate the majority of the menopausal symptoms, including those experienced in your chest.

4. Stress

Stress can affect your body in a number of different ways and one of these is through the stimulation of pain receptors. This stimulation can trigger pain in a certain part of your body. The pain you experience may be sharp and stabbing or it may be a dull ache.

In some cases, it may even feel like an electric shock.

Stress is a natural and normal process that we all go through in life. Everyone experiences it on a daily basis, sometimes even several times a day. If you have a lot on your mind or something stressful happens to you, then it is only natural that you will feel stressed.

The problem arises when you have so much going on in your life that you cannot keep up with everything. This can lead to issues with your health and well-being. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed then you should try to tackle the issues causing it head on.

Learning how to say “no” to certain things and setting some limits should help to alleviate some of your stress.

If, however, your stress is due to a medical condition such as prostate cancer then you may need to seek treatment in order to manage your health and well-being. For instance, there are several different treatments for prostate cancer that can alleviate many of the symptoms. Speak to your doctor about your options and find the one that’s best for you.

5. Menopause

The last symptom on our list, and one that is very common, is menopause. Menopause occurs in women when they reach an age in which they stop producing estrogen. This usually happens around the age of 50, sometimes earlier or later.

The process can take a few years, during which the woman’s body will slowly adjust to the changes.

Menopause can affect different women in different ways. For some women, menopause brings on a whole host of emotional and psychological changes along with it. It is not uncommon for menopausal women to experience irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

On the other hand, some women won’t experience many physical symptoms at all during this time. Either way, it’s important for you to recognize the signs and symptoms your body is displaying. If you feel a sharp pain in your chest or if you feel like something has tightened around your chest, it may be that you’re experiencing menopause.

The good news is that this is one of the few issues that have easy to access treatments.

Treatment Options

If you’ve been experiencing any of these chest pain symptoms then don’t wait around. It’s important that you seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will first perform a physical examination and then order any necessary tests.

He or she should also be able to give you an idea as to what the next step is and how to go about treating your condition. While it’s true that there are some instances in which immediate medical care is required, this isn’t always the case.

For instance, you may only require a simple medical procedure in order to alleviate your chest pain issues.

Sources & references used in this article:

Interventions for treating painful nipples among breastfeeding women by CL Dennis, K Jackson, J Watson – Cochrane Database of …, 2014 – cochranelibrary.com

Prevention of and therapies for nipple pain: a systematic review by K Morland‐Schultz, PD Hill – Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic …, 2005 – Wiley Online Library

Nipple pain in breastfeeding mothers: incidence, causes and treatments by JC Kent, E Ashton, CM Hardwick, MK Rowan… – International journal of …, 2015 – mdpi.com

Raynaud phenomenon of the nipple in breastfeeding mothers: an underdiagnosed cause of nipple pain by ME Barrett, MM Heller, HF Stone… – JAMA dermatology, 2013 – jamanetwork.com