Thanks to Kylie Jenner, nipple piercings are «in» these days. A nipple ring is more than just another body adornment—it’s something risque and more than a little sexual. For both men and women, it’s a way of subtly drawing attention to a highly sensual body part and letting others know that you’re entirely in touch with your desires.
But before you head out to the studio or prepare to do the job yourself, there are a few things you need to know about before getting your nipple pierced.
Do Nipple Piercing Hurt?
Like any other piercing, there is an initial pain (sharp pinch) when the needle is inserted. The nipple has lots of nerve endings, so there is a bit more pain than with other piercings. However, in the moment, it’s not so bad you can’t stand it.
But wait until after the painkillers wear off! The fact that your nipples are so sensitive means the healing process will be much more painful than with other parts of your body. Not unbearable, but certainly not pleasant!
Nipple Piercing Pros
There are lots of reasons that nipple piercing is a good idea:
It’s attractive – Nipple piercings are «in», so people will take one look at your latest Instagram photos and think, «Yeah, he/she’s got it going on!» For many people, a nipple piercing is highly attractive.
It can increase sensitivity – This isn’t always the case, but for the majority of those with pierced nipples, sensitivity is ramped up A LOT! This can be great when in bed, but can make walking around town a bit more uncomfortable.
It’s edgy – «Vanilla» men and women don’t get their nipples pierced, but those with pierced tits tend to stand out as edgy, risque, and rebels.
It’s easy to hide – Unlike piercings to your lips, nose, chin, forehead, eyebrows, or ears, you can easily hide a nipple piercing under your clothes. All you have to do is wear a bra and voila, instant concealment! However, if you ever want to let it out for the world to see, simply remove your bra and no one will be able to miss the outline of the ring beneath your shirt.
It feels sexy – There’s just something inherently sensual about piercing the more sensitive parts of your body. When you look at or touch the piercing, you’ll often find you feel sexier than you did before you got it.
All great reasons to consider getting your tits pierced, right?
Nipple Piercing Cons
As with any piercing, nipple piercings aren’t without their drawbacks or dangers. Here are a few of the risks you will face:
Long healing time – Ear lobe piercings tend to heal in a few weeks, but nipple piercings will take a few months. And, during that time, you run the risk of infection, so you’ll have to be very careful with what you allow to come in contact with your pierced nipple.
During the healing process, expect symptoms like itching, redness, and even some discharge. It’s a normal part of the healing, and should go away within a few months.
High infection risk – Considering that you have to wear a shirt or bra all day, there’s a very real risk of infection. Your chest is prone to sweating, which means a build-up of dirt and bacteria. The risk of infection increases if someone touches, licks, or kisses the piercing while it’s still healing.
How do you know if you have an infection? Swelling, redness, bad smell, odd-colored discharge, and extreme sensitivity are a sign of localized infection, but if it gets really bad, you may experience fatigue, fever, and more.
Pain — Nipple piercings don’t hurt too bad initially, but the pain during the healing process is more than you get with other piercings. It can be painful just putting on a bra or shirt at first, and there are few pains worse than something bumping up or snagging the healing piercing. Even if you’re very careful, there’s a real risk that something could pull or even tear out the piercing.
Side effects – Hematomas are a very real side effect. These cysts can form at the site of the piercing, and may require medical intervention to drain the blood.
Scars – Scar tissue may form around the nipple piercing instead of healthy tissue, and they can affect both the shape and sensitivity of your nipples. Keloid scar tissue is a very common side effect, and they can be a growth of permanent scar tissue that will require surgery to remove.
As you can see, nipple piercings may have a lot of appeal, but there are a few dangers you need to be aware of before you make a choise.
Can You Breastfeed with Nipple Piercings?
There have been few studies conducted on nipple piercings and their effect on breastfeeding, but the Australian Breastfeeding Association states that «nipple piercing may lead to a reduced milk supply». This may be due to the fact that the piercing prevents the milk from being effectively removed from the breast (via nursing), which sends signals to the body that less milk is required, thereby reducing the supply.
Babies who nurse from pierced nipples may have poor attachment, come off and on the breast more often, and slurp, gag, or even dribble milk. There is also a potential choking hazard if the ring comes loose in the baby’s mouth.
Is nipple piercing safe? Absolutely! Is it without risks? Unfortunately, no.
Now that you understand both the pros and cons, it’s up to you to make the decision of whether or not it’s the right choice for you. You may want to avoid the side effects, but the appeal of having your nipples pierced may outweigh any concerns. All that matters is that you have all the facts so you can make an informed choice of what to do with your body.