The truth about inverted nipples

We all know that everyone's body is different, and that uniqueness is what makes them special. So if you have inverted nipples, you may be wondering: Is this even normal? 

While many people have nipples that stand at attention, that's not always the case. For those people, when the nipple is stimulated or it's super cold, the nipple will pull in instead of pop out. As it turns out, inverted nipples are a result of the tissue underneath the nipple and inside of the breast. Bustle explains that in those cases, the breast tissue itself tightly adheres to the underside of the nipple's skin, and that will draw the nipple inward, resulting in a dimple instead of a rock hard, protruding nipple. 

If your nipples are like this, you're not alone. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of female-identifying people have flat or inverted nipples (via Cosmopolitan). In short, inverted nipples are totally normal. 

Can inverted nipples affect breastfeeding or nipple piercings?

Breastfeeding is not necessarily affected by inverted nipples, but some babies may have a tougher time latching on to the breast. If your nipples are flat or inverted, a lactation counselor can be a huge help (via La Leche League International). They can show you how to use breast shells that can help draw out your nipple, how to use a quality breast pump for the same purpose, or even how to use a nipple shield. Some babies, though, won't have any issue at all latching on to a breast with a flat or inverted nipple, but if you do run into issues, you can get help to make your breastfeeding journey a successful one. 

If you're not having a baby any time soon and have been looking into body piercing, you might be wondering if a nipple piercing is even possible with inverted nipples. Interestingly, a nipple piercing can, in fact, help with drawing the nipple outwards. Dr. Franziska Huettner told Cosmopolitan, "Nipple piercings with a dumbbell or bar can be useful in elevating the nipple and stretching the ducts, which in some cases may provide some degree of improvement." Though nipple piercings aren't recommended as a solution, they can offer a temporary fix. 

Having intervened nipples is not dangerous

Being born with inverted nipples does not mean your health is at risk. However, it's a good idea to keep track of how your nipples behave as you move through life — if your normally-erect-upon-stimulation nipples flatten or turn inward later on, reach out to your doctor as it could be a sign of an inflammatory disease or even breast cancer. If you really feel uncomfortable about your nipples, cosmetic surgery is always available, but Cosmopolitan notes that this will make breastfeeding impossible later on down the road. 

Everyone's nipples are one-of-a-kind. There isn't a "right" way for a nipple to look and it's important to remember that. If it isn't getting in the way of your health, rock that inverted nipple!