Why Do Men Have Nipples?

Why Do Men Have Nipples?

Have you ever wondered why men have nipples? They seem to be of no purpose.
So why exactly do they exist? Let’s find out.

Why Do Men Have Nipples?

The presence of nipples in men is a result of the developmental process of human embryos. All embryos follow a similar blueprint during the initial phases of embryonic development. This includes the growth of nipples, which happens before the embryo’s sex is known. Men and women therefore begin with the same fundamental features, including nipples.

Nipples form in embryos at approximately 6-7 weeks of gestation, independent of gender. The distinction between male and female happens later when the presence or absence of particular hormones (such as testosterone) begins to shape the unique traits of each sex. By the time the body starts manufacturing these hormones, the nipples have already formed.

Function of the Male Nipple

While you may think that male nipples serve no purpose or “don’t do anything” – you might just be wrong. Male nipples, like our appendix, are thought to have lost their purpose in the course of evolution, but that’s not true.

You see, nipples contain a dense supply of nerve endings which makes them a stimulatory organ and a very pleasurable sexual organ for men. Just like female nipples, they’re sensitive to touch and can come in handy for erotic stimulation.

Yep, we are talking about Nipple Orgasms.

Can Men Breastfeed?

Galactorrhea: The Possibility of Male Lactation

While it is extremely rare, some men can lactate and breastfeed.

Male lactation can occur under specific circumstances, such as hormonal imbalances or stimulation.

This is called male galactorrhea, and it can happen because of a medicine or health problem that raises prolactin levels, which is a hormone that makes milk. While it is typically present in much lower levels in men, certain conditions can lead to increased prolactin production.

Examples of Male Lactation

  1. Hormonal Treatments: Men undergoing hormone treatments for conditions like prostate cancer may experience an increase in prolactin, leading to potential milk production.
  2. Health Conditions: Certain health conditions, like liver disease, can disrupt normal hormone balance and result in male lactation.
  3. Stimulation: Continuous stimulation of the nipples over time can potentially induce lactation in men.


Men have nipples because they develop before the embryo differentiates into male or female, a process rooted in our shared evolutionary history.

Like the appendix and wisdom teeth, male nipples are widely assumed to be functionless. They don’t supply nourishment to newborn babies, but male nipples contain a dense supply of nerves that function as a major stimulatory organ.

While male lactation is rare, it is not entirely impossible, highlighting the complexity and adaptability of the human body.

Understanding these aspects sheds light on the fascinating ways our bodies are shaped by both genetic and evolutionary forces.

By exploring these topics, we gain insight into the commonalities and differences in male and female development and the intricate biological processes that define us.