Question :

Since I can remember I have had inverted nipples. Why? How do I fix them?

I’ll look to our Health Expert Sandy for the details on what causes inverted nipples, but here’s what I do know: this is very common. In fact, two of my close friends have inverted nipples (to varying degrees). And they’ve accepted it as their "normal." Yes, there were times when they didn’t exactly feel that way. But many times the things that bother us most are the things that make us unique...and they don't necessarily need fixing. Now don’t worry, I’m not going to say anything corny like your body is a unique and beautiful snowflake, but I do want you to know we all have that little thing that makes us ask "is that normal?" and at the end of the day, it’s not what defines us.
I frequently find myself reminding my own daughters that people come in different shapes and sizes. I think that applies here as well. Nipples come in different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. And some -- like yours -- don't protrude much and point inward instead. But you're not alone; there are a lot of other women (and men!) out there with inverted nipples. Even though it might make you a little self-conscious, try not to think of them as something to fix, and instead remember that it's just one of the many interesting differences that make you unique.
Since your nipples have always been that way, it shortens the list of possible causes for the “why” part of your question – most likely it is a genetic predisposition – meaning, you were born that way or it was inherited. For some girls or women, their nipples just do not protrude. So, that being said, you don’t really need to fix them if you don’t want to. (Think of the benefits like never having your nipples show through a thin t-shirt!). But, on the other hand, if you’d like to fix them, here are some suggestions:

Depending on the degree of inversion, frequent nipple stimulation (massaging with your finger tips) might help stimulate your nipples to become erect (pop out) and reverse the inversion. Some devices are sold that may or may not be helpful. Breast pumps help some women prepare for breastfeeding by stimulating the nipple with suction. Cosmetic surgery is another solution, but can interfere with breastfeeding in the future. A particular method of nipple piercing might help, but many times does not or it can cause scarring, infection or inability to breastfeed later, as well.

Talking to your healthcare provider is probably the best way to get a good look at all of your options and make the best decision for yourself!
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