When nipples are inverted it is a matter of much concern as compared to protruding erect nipples. The inverted nipples can occur on either or both of the breasts. According to an estimate 10% females are likely to have one inverted nipple. The condition is likely to appear in males as well. In this article we will study the causes and treatment options for inverted nipples and when to consult doctor.
What are Inverted Nipples?
A condition where one or both the nipples are pulled inwards inside the breast is known as inverted nipples. The deviation from the normal is caused by many factors and there are many grades of nipples inversion. Some home remedies are there which can help to resolve the problem but sometimes, you need to consult your health care provider. Are inverted nipples bad? The condition is not a serious health concern especially if you have inverted nipples since birth or inverted nipples since puberty. Are flat nipples normal? The condition is normal unless you experience it all of a sudden.
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Grades of Nipple Inversion:
There are generally three main grades for the inversion of nipples. These three grades determine the following factors:
- Extent of inversion of nipples
- The effect of nipple inversion on breast feeding
- Solutions to alter the nipple inversion
The three grades or levels of inversion of nipples include:
In this case, if you place an index finger and thumb on the darker part of breast areola and squeeze gently, you are likely to pull out the nipple. The grade one of nipple inversion indicates that as you squeeze a little your nipple can stay out in the normal pointed position for some time. Breast feeding and stimulation can also bring them in normal position.
In this case, the pulling out of nipples is difficult as compared to grade one. As you release the nipples they tend to retract back and inwards.
This is a condition where it is not possible to pull the inverted nipples out at all. Hence there is no such home remedy for the Inverted nipples correction.
There are some techniques such as supple cups and Hoffman techniques for the treatment of inverted nipples for Grade 1 and Grade 2. You can also get surgery for the treatment. The surgical process can remove inversion of any grade successfully.
How to Determine The Grade of Nipple Inversion?
As discussed above, there are certain grades of nipples inversion. Do I have inverted nipples or if you are interested to determine which your grade of nipple inversion is, you need to follow the following mentioned steps.
- Take off your top and any undergarment you are wearing.
- Hold your areola on each breast between fore finger and thumb in front of mirror.
- Press the part inwards and press it deep to about an inch inside the breast.
- Observe the way your nipples are responding and with the help of it, you can assess your grade of nipple inversion.
- Sometimes, the grade of nipple inversion is different in both nipples while in most of the cases, the grade of nipple inversion is same in both breasts.
Inverted Nipples and Breast Feeding:
For females, the inverted nipples are likely to make the breast feeding difficult and they find their babies struggling to latch onto their inverted nipples to feed. A nipple doesn’t erect due to inversion and it is difficult for babies to get their normal feed. It is therefore very important to consult your doctor if you are breast feeding and you have this condition. There are some techniques to turn nipples pointed for easy breast feeding. The techniques include:
- To help the baby to latch on you can make use of nipple shields
- You can also make use of breast shields which can apply pressure on the nipples and help them to protrude out.
- Manually you can also stimulate your nipples to make them protruding out.
- A breast pump can also be used and the use of breast pump can increase the flow of milk.
Are Inverted Nipples Permanent?
The condition is different in different people. Some people only experience the nipple inversion at a particular time while some group of people experience it always. In pregnancy, many females experience inverted nipples even if they never encountered this condition before pregnancy. First time pregnant females are more likely to suffer from this condition and the condition resolves itself after the birth. Inverted nipples and pregnancy are often linked with each other. The condition can be corrected by inverted nipples surgery especially in the Grade 2 and Grade 3 people. The inverted nipples treatment of Grade 1 and 2 is bit easy.
When to Consult Your Doctor?
Under normal condition, inversion of nipples is not a big concern especially if have this condition since puberty (the age of maturation), the condition appeared gradually over few years and is linked with some conditions such as surgery, pregnancy, breast feeding etc. On the other hand, if you develop this condition all of a sudden and experience your nipples turning inward you may need to consult your doctor as this is the indication of breast cancer. Inverted nipples and breast cancer are linked closely. If diagnosed early breast cancer is more treatable.
The Bottom Line:
Inverted nipples are condition where nipples despite of protruding out are displaced inwards. The condition is more common in pregnancy. There are certain grades of nipples inversion such grade 1, 2 and 3. The grade one and two can be treated with certain home remedies while grade 3 of nipple inversion needs surgery. Nipple inversion is not a big or serious health concern but if you experience this condition all of a sudden you need to consult your health care provider as it can be an indication of breast cancer.
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