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Sad Nipple Syndrome: When Nipple Play Causes a Deep Sense of Unease

Doctors don’t know what causes it, but it can affect both penis and vulva owners

Two breasts pressed together, making a sad face (the nipples are the eyes, there is a frown shape below the breasts). There are text bubbles near the breasts that say “don’t touch me, don’t touch me, don’t touch me, soniyeee”.

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DID YOU KNOW that some people feel sad when their nipples are touched? This condition is called


The image shows a person’s upper body (from the lower half of their face to their chest). Some words for emotions are written on them.

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Anyone can experience Sad Nipple Syndrome (SNS), irrespective of body and gender type.

SNS can bring up a range of negative emotions when nipples are touched:








"If my t-shirt brushes my nips, I feel visceral disgust & sadness"

"It feels like your mother has scolded you"

"Homesickness for a place I cannot return to"

There are two breasts - white tears are falling out of the nipples. A bra is loosely hanging in front of the breasts.

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Sometimes, breastfeeding mothers also experience something like Sad Nipple Syndrome. In lactating mothers, it's called

Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER).

"Every time I breastfed I would feel like 'I want to die'. It lasted only a couple of minutes but was horrible"

We can see a breast from the side. White tears are falling from the nipple and two small hands are covering the nipple. On the breast is a sign that says: “FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH CARE.”

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What causes Sad Nipple Syndrome?

Science doesn't yet offer a concrete explanation as to why these feelings arise. Some theories suggest that-

"A short-term drop in dopamine occurs when milk release is triggered. This causes the low feeling."

- Researchers who studied D-MER

There are two pairs of breasts next to each other. There are smiley faces on both. A hand reaches out from one breast to the other.

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If you're experiencing Sad Nipple Syndrome or D-MER

1. Consult a therapist

2. Share with others. Remember, you're not alone in this.

3. Eat well and consult your doctor for nutritional requirements and supplements. Drink cold water while you're lactating.

"Wearing an extra layer of padding in my bra has helped me create a barrier between the nipples & shirt"

Two breasts making a happy face (with the nipples as the eyes and a smile below them).

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Have you experienced Sad Nipple Syndrome?

Share your story with us in comments or DMs!

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