Perhaps not all men will agree, but the main purpose of the female breast is to feed the child. What can not be said about the male breast, which is not adapted for lactation. This part of the human body hides many secrets and curious features. Let’s talk about some of them.
1. There can be more than two nipples on the human body
It really is. In medical language, this phenomenon is called polythelia. Nipples can grow not only on the chest, but also on other parts of the body. Such an anomaly is quite common among people of both sexes (one person out of 18), it is not classified as a disease and does not require surgical intervention. An accessory nipple begins to form when the regular process of nipple development is incomplete and the tissue does not fully regress.
This type of nipple usually develops along «milk lines» that start at the armpit on each side of the body, pass through the habitual sites of breast development, and descend down the sides of the groin. Examining the body, additional nipples can be confused with moles or papillomas. For example, in 2012, seven nipples were found in one Indian at once. In addition to the breasts, extra nipples can form on other areas of the body, even the legs. However, such developmental features do not cause harm to health, and there is no need to remove additional nipples.
2. Having hair around the nipple is normal.
The entire human body is covered with small hairs, and it is completely normal to find small hairs on the chest, even if they form around the nipple. The area around the nipples also contains hair follicles, just like any other area of the skin. As a rule, women, unlike many men, do not grow hair on their chests. But sometimes, some women develop a few long hairs around their nipples. The reason for this may be hormonal fluctuations in the body, associated, for example, with puberty, medication, pregnancy or menopause.
If you notice more than just a few hairs around the nipples, then it is better to consult a doctor, as this phenomenon may indicate hirsutism or polycystic ovary syndrome. If the hair on the chest or around the nipples is bothering you, then you can get rid of them (at least temporarily) with tweezers or small scissors. Epilation with wax or a razor will not work here — the delicate and sensitive skin around the nipples can be seriously damaged.
3. Nipples are formed in the womb
If everything is clear with the purpose of the mammary glands in women, then why do men need nipples on their chests? The fact is that in the womb for the first few weeks, the child, even if he is male, develops as a female individual — from the reproductive organs to the nipples. After 60 days of embryonic development, androgens begin to actively act, which leads to the development of the body according to the male type.
During this period, the sex is determined in the embryo. Testosterone causes male embryos to secrete factors that block the development of female hormones. However, the organs formed in the embryo before two months remain with it after birth. Therefore, the male breast and nipples are the consequences of the features of the formation of the human embryo.
4. The shape of the breasts in women is not associated with the period of motherhood.
During lactation, a woman’s breasts are filled with milk and look larger. However, large breasts do not necessarily indicate a period of pregnancy or breastfeeding. In most primates, including humans, the breast only enlarges during breastfeeding, after which it becomes barely noticeable again. But in some women, the shape of the breast can be maintained for many years. The main reason for maintaining the shape of their breasts is its ability to store fat and its fertility. The breasts become plump after the female reaches puberty.
5. Discharge from the nipple can be symptoms of illness
In women, discharge from the nipples is quite normal, even outside the period of pregnancy or breastfeeding. The clear or whitish discharge may be thick, sticky, or watery. They appear, as a rule, when squeezing the nipples.
In addition to pregnancy and breastfeeding, the causes of discharge can be physical exercise, during which the underwear actively rubs against the nipples and can provoke the formation of discharge. However, spotting is most often a symptom of dangerous diseases, and it is important to consult a doctor immediately. But in men, any discharge from the nipple under any circumstances should cause concern and a desire to undergo a medical examination.
6. No two breasts are exactly the same.
It may surprise you, but the human body does not imply the presence of two breasts and nipples that are absolutely identical in shape and size. Therefore, if you notice differences between the breasts on your body, then do not panic. Often the left breast is slightly larger than the right. Medically, these small changes are called asymmetries. It can be more or less pronounced. Usually by the period of puberty, asymmetry becomes subtle. But sometimes, due to injuries or illnesses, differences in the shape of the breasts become more noticeable. For correction of the shape and size, you can turn to plastic surgeons.
7. Plastic surgery reduces nipple sensitivity
According to international studies, any type of breast surgery can reduce nipple sensitivity. Women preparing for mammoplasty should be aware of this. Thickening of the breast from the inside can lead to a decrease in its ability to feel touch. In 2006, experts from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons concluded that the larger the breast implant in the body, the greater the likelihood of reduced breast sensitivity.
But breast reduction surgery can also not be the best way to affect the sensitivity of the nipples. These effects can persist for many years. Before choosing any type of breast surgery, consult with a specialist about the possible consequences of surgery and its impact on breast health.
8. Breast shape can change every month
This applies to female people. During the menstrual cycle, the shape of the breast tends to change. For some women, these changes are noticeable to such an extent that at certain points in the menstrual cycle it is necessary to change the size of the bra. Changes in breast size are mainly due to fluctuations in hormone levels during menstruation. Along with this, women may experience slight swelling, pain, and increased sensitivity in the breast area. These symptoms are also observed during ovulation or during the initial stage of pregnancy. In the first trimester, the mammary glands of expectant mothers become extremely sensitive and begin to grow. This is because the body begins to prepare for breastfeeding.
9. The shape of the nipples may be inverted
Some women and men have nipples that are retracted into the body, and not bulging, as usual. This is also considered normal and does not affect human health. Approximately 10-20% of women are born with this feature, which is caused by short ducts or a wide halo of sphincter muscles. Other common causes of inverted nipples are breastfeeding, injury, sagging breasts due to age, breast infection or inflammation, and even pregnancy.
It is very important to maintain hygiene of inverted nipples so that dirt does not accumulate between the folds of the skin, which can cause infections and illnesses. But if your nipples, naturally bulging, suddenly began to retract inside the body, then you should immediately consult a doctor. This may be a sign of breast cancer.
10. Enlarged and elastic nipples are not always a sign of sexual arousal.
Usually, many believe that nipples become elastic only during sexual arousal and orgasm. But it is not so. Erection of the nipples occurs due to the fact that in the brain the areas responsible for the excitation and sensitivity of the nipples are interconnected. Therefore, a woman, thanks to the stimulation of the nipples, can experience desire and even an orgasm. But erect nipples are not necessarily a sign of sexual arousal. This is also due to the contraction of smooth muscles under the control of the autonomic nervous system, which also causes goosebumps. Sudden changes in temperature, sudden fright or shock, breastfeeding, and active contact of clothing with the breast area can also cause nipples to become erect.
Propaedeutics of internal diseases / Mukhin N.A., Moiseev V.S. — 2008
Obstetrics / Ed. Savelieva G.M. — 2000