Health Symptoms & Causes

9 Causes of Hard Nipples; is it a Normal?


Erection of nipples is something really embarrassing as it happens out of nowhere. You can be surprised to see the hard and erect nipples at any time without knowing the exact cause of it. In some cases it makes you a little worried as well. From time to time the random erection or hardness of nipples is considered normal. In this article we will study about the causes of hard nipples and when do you need get medical supervision.

What are Hard Nipples?

The erect and hard nipples appear time to time and are absolutely normal condition. There are several causes of hard nipples. It might be very embarrassing for you if you are standing in a queue of a cinema or grocery store. The nipples are sensitive structure of the body provided with nerves which are specialized to react to stimulus. The stimulus is either psychological or physical. Any sexually arising thought, temperature fluctuations and brushing of fabric against the delicate skin can be key factors in making the nipples hard and erect.  Under normal conditions, these hard nipples are absolutely normal but under some conditions this nipple erection is linked to some serious underlying health concerns.

Causes of Hard Nipples:

There are a lot of factors which result in hardness or erection of nipples: changes in external and internal environment (the stimulus) are the main cause of nipples erection or hardness.  Some key factors which can cause erection of nipples are:

  1. Sensitivity or Allergic Reactions:

Some products used for body particularly breasts result in various allergic reactions and skin sensitivity. The shower gels, shampoos, moisturizers, soaps, deodorants can trigger such allergic responses of the body. In the same way the use of low quality laundry detergents can also result in allergic reactions causing hard nipples. If you experience redness and itching of the skin along with hard nipples along with rashes it is an indication of possible allergic reactions.

  1. Ovulation:

Ovulation is a process of releasing egg or ovum from the ovary and takes place every month in females. Tenderness of breast is common at the time of ovulation along with hardness of nipples. The increase in the level of estrogen results in several changes in the female’s body and hardness of nipples is one of them. Other changes which females experience during ovulation along with hard nipples are changes in the composition of cervical firmness, cervical discharge, a little increase in body temperature, spotting and minor cramping. Also at the time of ovulation females experience considerable increase in libido.

  1. Pregnancy:

Pregnancy is also a key factor which contributes to hardness of nipples. As hormonal fluctuations are at peak during pregnancy, females experience increase in breast size and areolas along with hard nipples.


  1. Menopause:

As discussed above, sensitive nerves are supplied to nipples which make them sensitive to external and internal stimuli. Hormonal fluctuations are one of the main internal stimuli which result in erection or hardness of nipples. At the time of menopause females experience changes in hormones and hence hard nipples is common.

  1. Nipple Piercing:

When pierced, nipples become more sensitive. They can often turn hard and the response to stimulus is even quicker. Nipple piercing can also cause bacterial or fungal infections leading to erection of nipples. Antibiotics are generally

  1. Breastfeeding:

During beast feeding it is common to find nipples inverted or erect. As the baby feeds the stimulation results in hardness of nipples, the baby finds it easy to suck as the nipples are hard and erect. At the same time, the breastfeeding and hard nipples are the indicators of mastitis which is a clogging of milk ducts. You need to consult doctor for the treatment of mastitis as the condition is generally painful.

  1. Abscess of Breast:

As discussed above, nipple piercing can result in infection of nipples and as a result of it pus is built up leading to abscess of breast. The condition is painful and can lead to hardness of nipples. If mastitis (clogged milk ducts) is not treated it can also result in abscess of breasts. Other possible indications of breast abscess are painful and tender breasts with fever and chills, muscular pain and fatigue, headache and nausea. It is a serious medical concern and immediate medical supervision is needed to treat it.

  1. Sexual Arousal:

Sexual arousal can also result in hardness of nipples in most of the females. Nipples are highly sensitive and most of the females experience tingling sensation in the nipples when genitals are stimulated.  In the same way any thought of sexual arousal can result in hardness of nipples. Along with sexual arousal and nipples hardness you may also feel a rapid increase in breathing rate and heart beat, flushed and wetness of vagina along with swelling in vaginal walls.

  1. Temperature Fluctuations:

A sudden increase or decrease in temperature can also result in hardness of nipples. One of the most common causes of nipples erection is cold weather as the decline in temperature stimulates the nerves inside the nipples in a pattern similar to goose bumps.

The bottom Line:

Hard nipples are a normal reaction of the body due to external or internal stimulus. Nipples contain specialized nerve cells which respond by making the nipples erect. The main causes of nipple erection or hardness are temperature fluctuations, hormonal changes, nipple piercing, ovulation, breast feeding or menopause. Cold temperature can also result in hardness of nipples in the way similar to the appearance of goose bumps on the body.

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About the author

Jennifer K. Garcia

Jennifer K. Garcia is a is a health consultant form last 6 year. She is finally decided to run a blog to help people online.You can contact her via Email or follow her on Facebook. Also add him on