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Inverted Nipples

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
My 14 year old daughter has inverted nipples. I have a concern for her mature future of childbearing and breast feeding. At this moment, is there anything that she can do to correct this? I was also told that women with inverted nipples have a higher risk for breast cancer. Is this true? I thank you in advance for your concern and reply. Mom
Signed: Inverted Nipples

Dear Inverted Nipples,

 

Inverted nipples are one of the many variations of the human body that make each of us unique, sort of like having an "innie" or "outtie" bellybutton. Some people feel awkward at having their nipples look different, but, fortunately, no medical problems are associated with being born with inverted nipples.

It's possible to change inverted nipples through plastic surgery. These procedures are expensive, though (ranging from about two to five thousand dollars), and there's a chance that nipples will revert to their old orientation after the operation. Talk with your pediatrician or adolescent health care provider. She/he may have additional info or insight for you.

Inverted nipples do not put you at higher risk for breast cancer. What is a concern is if a normal nipple suddenly becomes inverted. In a case like that, you should see your primary care physician as that maybe a sign of underlying breast cancer.

 

Babies breastfeed, not "nipple-feed", and if a baby is able to take in a good mouthful of the breast during a feeding, most types of inverted or flat nipples will not cause a problem. However, some types of nipples are harder for the baby to latch onto, especially at first, but in most cases, patience, persistence, proper latch-on technique, and perhaps a few other helpful measures will pay off.

 

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment. You can also call your local teen health center or your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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