Experiencing constantly sore erect nipples after menopause? We take a look at the possible causes and what you can do to feel better.
But if you’re postmenopausal (meaning you haven’t had a period for over a year), and most menopause symptoms have eased, your hormones aren’t usually responsible for breast pain.
So, if you’re experiencing constantly sore erect nipples after menopause, what could be causing your discomfort?
And, most importantly, what can you do about it?
Let’s take a look.
In this article: 📝
- What causes sore nipples after menopause?
- Why are my nipples tender and painful?
- When to see your doctor about constantly sore erect nipples after menopause
What causes sore nipples after menopause?
That’s why it’s also called “cyclical” breast pain.
But having sore nipples after menopause is likely caused by a specific problem or condition, meaning it’s “noncyclical” breast pain.
The exception is if you’re still receiving hormone therapy after menopause.
In that case, you could continue experiencing some cyclical breast pain as a side effect of that treatment.
So, if not hormones, Why are my nipples sore after menopause? you ask.
Here are some possible reasons.
Why are my nipples tender and painful?
If your nipples have been rubbing up against your shirt or bra, the friction can lead to soreness and dry or chapped skin.
This could be a particular problem if you’re a keen runner or love playing sports.
Try making sure that your everyday bra is comfortable, supportive, and well-fitting.
Wear a sports bra when participating in sports activities, and, for extra protection, consider placing a bandage over your breasts or applying petroleum jelly to your nipples.
2. Allergic reaction
Is the skin of your nipple crusty, flaky, blistering, or sore?
Do you feel itchy?
And is there redness or a rash?
If so, you might be experiencing an allergic reaction.
Think about whether you’ve recently started using any new products that have contact with your nipples.
This could be laundry detergent, body lotion, soap—even a new type of fabric.
Avoiding the product that has triggered the allergy should help to resolve your symptoms.
You could also try an OTC anti-inflammatory cream to soothe the skin of your nipples.
But get in touch with your doctor if things don’t improve or your rash spreads.
This is where the tissue of your breast or breasts becomes inflamed and swollen, usually because of an infection in your breast ducts (the tubes that carry milk).
Mastitis is more common before menopause but can happen at any time.
Along with soreness and swelling, symptoms include reddened skin, skin that feels warm to the touch, discharge from the nipples, and fever.
You’ll need a course of antibiotics to kick the infection.
Another possible cause of constantly sore erect nipples after menopause is folliculitis, a type of infection that can occur when the hair follicles around your nipple become blocked.
Minor cases of folliculitis can be treated with an antibacterial cleanser or anti-itch cream, but for a more severe case, you may need antibiotics.
Sore nipples after menopause could be caused by injury to the area—for example, as the result of rough sex or a nipple piercing.
Pain from rough sex should get better on its own over time.
But if you have a piercing, check for any signs of infection.
In rare cases, nipple pain can be a symptom of Paget’s disease of the breast, a type of cancer that forms in the nipple area, usually alongside an underlying cancer in that same breast.
(When we say rare, we mean rare. Paget’s disease of the breast is thought to affect less than five percent of all breast cancer cases.)
Other signs of the condition include itchy, red, or crusty skin in the nipple area, a flat or inverted nipple, and bloody or yellow discharge from the nipple.
Treatment may involve surgery to remove the cancer, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.
When to see your doctor about constantly sore erect nipples after menopause
Sore nipples after menopause aren’t usually the sign of a serious condition, but if they’re sore all the time and don’t seem to be getting better (or if you have any other concerning symptoms), it’s best to check in with your doctor.
And remember that you don’t have to navigate the post-menopause period alone.
You can always find friendship and support in the Peanut Menopause community.