24 Mind Blowing Facts About Nipple That Most People Don Know

How we feel about our bodies and all its working parts can be loaded, but perhaps no body part elicits quite as much mixed emotion as the breast — for both men and women. Amid a perpetual onslaught of breast augmentation ads, boob-lifting bras, and nipple bans, it can be easy to dismiss that women’s breasts (and specifically nipples) serve more than an evolutionary purpose to feed offspring. (Of course, this doesn’t dictate if women can, should, or want to have kids.) It’s also easy to forget that male nipples might not be too different either. WEIRD, AMAZING, WOMEN, GENIUS, RESEARCH, COOL STUFF, HEALTH, EDUCATION, BIOLOGY, LEARNING

And yet, nipples are as individual as we are, with all kinds of surprising quirks up their sleeve. So do yourself a little favor and get to know your nips more — even the smallest detail could be a conversation starter about health, or pleasure. WEIRD, AMAZING, WOMEN, GENIUS, RESEARCH, COOL STUFF, HEALTH, EDUCATION, BIOLOGY, LEARNING

1. Women’s health used to be diagnosed via nipples

Color was a major factor doctors and nurses considered when reading into a woman’s health. In 1671, the English midwife Jane Sharp published a book called “The Midwives Book or the Whole Art of Midwifry.” WEIRD, AMAZING, WOMEN, GENIUS, RESEARCH, COOL STUFF, HEALTH, EDUCATION, BIOLOGY, LEARNING

According to a Stanford course about the female body, Sharp once wrote, “The Nipples are red after Copulation, red as a Strawberry, and that is their Natural colour: But Nurses Nipples, when they give Suck, are blue, and they grow black when they are old.” Thankfully, this practice has been discontinued. WEIRD, AMAZING, WOMEN, GENIUS, RESEARCH, COOL STUFF, HEALTH, EDUCATION, BIOLOGY, LEARNING

2. There are 4 to 8 types of nipples

Your nipples can be flat, protruding, inverted, or unclassified (multiple or divided). It’s also possible to have one breast with a protruding nipple and the other with an inverted, making the total combination of nipple types up to eight. WEIRD, AMAZING, WOMEN, GENIUS, RESEARCH, COOL STUFF, HEALTH, EDUCATION, BIOLOGY, LEARNING

3. Your nipple isn’t your areola

The nipple is at the very center portion of your breast, and is linked to the mammary glands, where milk is produced. The areola is the darker colored area surrounding the nipple.

4. Inverted nipples are normal

Inverted nipples, which tuck inward instead of protruding out, function the same as “regular,” protracted nipples. It’s possible to have one non-inverted nipple alongside an inverted one, and it’s also possible to have inverted nipples that pop out later. WEIRD, AMAZING, WOMEN, GENIUS, RESEARCH, COOL STUFF, HEALTH, EDUCATION, BIOLOGY, LEARNING

Inverted nipples tend to go away after breastfeeding a baby and won’t interfere with breastfeeding. Stimulation or cold temperatures can also temporarily cause nipples to protrude. Piercings and surgery can convert “innie” nipples to “outies.”