Nipple Piercing FAQs (NSFW)

I’m a little bit obsessed with piercings.

I’ve been known to ask random strangers where they got their lip pierced, or what made them decide to get a double nose ring. I also tend to go on long-winded rants about my favorite piercing/tattoo places in the Boston area or in the Valley, listing my pros and cons for each shop, even when people really don’t want to hear it.

Considering that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I figured this was a perfect opportunity for me to discuss nipple piercings. I’ve found that people have a lot of questions about nipple piercings, which is extremely valid. Having your nipple pierced is much different than having your ear pierced, especially since your nipples have a much more important role in your everyday life (think sexual pleasure/arousal, and if you are female-bodied and a mom, breast-feeding). Anyway, rather than go on another rant, I figured I would just answer some FAQs about nipple rings.

Image courtesy of fotosearch.com

Pierced nipple with a straight barbell

What is the best way to care for my nipple piercing?

From my experience with professional piercers, the best aftercare product is a sea-salt solution. You can either buy a product such as H2Ocean, or just mix up a solution of about 1/4 tsp. sea salt with 8 ounces of water. The easiest way to clean your piercing is to pour the solution into a shot class and hold it over your nipple for about a minute. If any serious discomfort or redness occurs, you should contact your health care provider.

Will piercing my nipple decrease my sensitivity?

This is obviously different from person to person, but most people say that it actually heightens sensitivity. An unpierced nipple only has accessible nerve endings on the outside of the nipple, but a pierced nipple has nerve endings on the inside of the piercing that are stimulated by the jewelery. Your nipple will be sore for a while after being pierced (anywhere from a few weeks to a few months), though so you won’t want to play with it for a while.

Will my nipple piercing affect by ability to breastfeed?

The piercing shouldn’t affect lactation too much. It will allow more milk to flow from the nipple, but not enough for your baby to choke. Most people recommend that you take your jewelery out before you breastfeed.

Image courtesy of pleasureshame.com

Nipple pierced with a ring

Is it better to be pierced with a barbell or a ring?

This depends greatly on who is piercing you. Many places will only pierce with barbells, while others give you the option of piercing with a ring. You should contact your piercer before making your appointment to discuss jewelery options.

How much will it hurt?

It’s a piercing. It’s going to hurt. But honestly, the part that will probably hurt the most is the clamp that they use to isolate the part of the nipple that will be pierced. It’s not a bad idea to pop an Advil an hour before your appointment. Also, many people find that applying an ice pack to a recently-pierced nipple can help with soreness and discomfort. Just make sure that its a clean ice pack, as you don’t want to introduce new bacteria to your piercing.

Will I be able to wear a bra after my nipple is pierced? Will my piercing show through my bra?

Yes! In fact, you’ll probably want to wear a bra. It will provide pressure that will help alleviate some of the soreness. Also, your piercing most likely won’t show through your clothing, unless it’s really cold out, or you get what I like to call a “nipple boner”.

How much does a nipple piercing cost?

Again, this really depends on the piercing place, but it can range anywhere from $50-$80 (not including a tip for your piercer).

Alright guys, I think that pretty much covers it. Any questions? Please comment, I’ll be sure to get back to you.

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About Michaela

Michaela

Michaela is a recent Seven Sisters graduate with a self-designed degree in Sexuality Studies. When she's not blogging, you'll find her teaching Health and Wellness and A Cappella to high school students, helping women find properly fitting bras, and working as an editor on a documentary. She hopes to continue her education one day with a PhD in Feminist Anthropology.