12 Tip-Top Facts About Nipples

We talk about breasts a lot. But what about nipples? They’re an important part of breasts and will often give us a signal when we have an underlying health issue. Because we don’t often see women’s nipples out in the open, it’s easy to think that all women’s nipples are or should be the same. But they vary greatly in size, shape, color—even number.

While we take good care of our breasts and schedule our mammograms, let’s not forget to give nipples the credit they’re due. If surgery has left you without one or both of your nipples, then there are some things on this list you might miss, but then again, there are probably some things you were glad to kiss goodbye. Check it out:

1. There are 4 Different Types of Nipples

Nipples can be flat, protruding, inverted, or divided, which means it seems they can’t really decide. About 10 to 20 percent of women have one or both nipples that are flat or inverted. And a set of nipples won’t necessarily match. One could be flat and the other protruding, or whatever combination nature decides.

2. Someone can have more than 2 nipples

Of course a woman who has undergone breast cancer surgery may choose to stick with one nipple or none rather than deal with reconstruction (for all about post-mastectomy nipples options, check out this article), but two nipples can also appear on one breast. The extra is called a double or a bifurcated nipple.

Sometimes both nipples may be able to produce milk, though depending on placement having two may create a challenge during breastfeeding. About 27 million people in the United States have a third nipple, and they often are mistaken for a mole or skin tag. They can be easily removed if someone thinks that three’s a crowd.

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Katie Taylor started writing in 5th grade and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite place to pen a phrase is in front of her fireplace with a cup of tea, but she's been known to write in parking lots on the backs of old receipts if necessary. She and her husband live cozily in the Pacific Northwest enjoying rainy days and Netflix.
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