What determines the size of a woman's areola?

  1. 0
    Not to sound weird, but I'm truly curious. I was at the nurse midwife's clinic the other day and after seeing the woman's breasts the question just hit me. Here areola were like 3-inches in diameter. She wasn't particularly overweight (I was assuming size = overall size), but it just struck me as interesting.

    Granted, I'm a guy, but my areola are less than an inch in diameter.

    So what are all the factors determining this? How much does race play a part? I know that overall weight or breast implants have an effect, but I thought most women had smaller ones on average.

    Thanks in advance for the information.
    Last edit by Mesomorph on Mar 24, '07

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  2. 21 Comments...

  3. 0
    Areolas, just like penises, come in all different shapes, sizes, widths and colors, and are not always affected by 'the fat side' or 'way-too-large' implants.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Mar 24, '07
  4. 0
    Ok..this is probably TMI, but I used to have very, very small ones, they were so light in color they almost matched my skin.

    After I had my twins...they are probably 4x the size that they were, and have darkened dramatically in color. I never knew that would happen when you had a baby.
  5. 0
    Quote from Hopefull2009
    Ok..this is probably TMI, but I used to have very, very small ones, they were so light in color they almost matched my skin.

    After I had my twins...they are probably 4x the size that they were, and have darkened dramatically in color. I never knew that would happen when you had a baby.
    No, I'm genuinely fascinated by that. I know hyperpigmentation is common in pregnancy, but you're saying they've stayed like that even after pregnancy?...
  6. 0
    Meso-1st- I think you are trying your best to be respectful, and in no way did I take you for a perve or anything.

    Having said that--I feel the need to point out that your wording could easily come across as offensive. You describe them as "huge" and then give an approximate diameter. Think now, about a woman reading this who maybe has 3" or even 4" areolas, and you're expressing your shock (while understandable, given your limited exposure to real women )and labeling them huge. That can be a real 'ouch' to women who may be sensitve about this.

    When I say real women, I mean just that. Not airbrushed, specially selected, surgically modified women that you're likely to see in Playboy and p/ornos. Some women in that industry (and others who are very self conscious) actually have tattoos on their areola to even them out, give them a more desirable color and better definition. Implants usually actually make the areolas look smaller because they fill out the breast more, and well, photoshop can do wonders.

    Think of it worded about penises "I was working at the LTC and when I went to insert a foley-this residents penis was tiny! I'd say about 5 inches in length. What effects penis size?" I'm sure there are plenty of men here with that sized penis. A statement like that could set off all types of insecurities...

    I'm not trying to nit pick or put you down-just to point something out that may not have otherwise occured to you.

    To answer your question though, pregnancies, hormones, genes, breast fullness, sun/tanning light exposure, sheer luck, and sometimes breast size can effect the size and color of the areola. I've seen mamas with let's say a 32A with most of the breast being areola. I've seen 48DD mamas with quarter sized ones. and with many women, yes, the hyperpigmentation stays, though usually to a lesser degree.

    BTW-If you haven't "gone there" yet in your clinicals--this also goes for labia majora and minora. Also, don't be surprised if one is larger, fuller, droopier, etc than the other (and I'm talking breasts and lips here!).

    Best Wishes
  7. 0
    Quote from Mesomorph
    No, I'm genuinely fascinated by that. I know hyperpigmentation is common in pregnancy, but you're saying they've stayed like that even after pregnancy?...
    Yup..almost 3 years later...and I was not at all comfortable with it. I am very self-conscious about it.
  8. 0
    Very sorry, didn't intend to be insensitive :-S. Didn't realize how I was coming off. I haven't "gone there" yet but I've been next to someone who has so I know what you mean. I edited the post to be more sensitive.

    All different shapes and sizes. Nothing wrong with that!

    Also, don't look at porn, but have seen plenty of breasts in the textbook, I've looked into plastic surgeries and seen before and afters (my own interest. Wanted to see how it worked) and I've seen some breasts in clinicals. Porn is evil :P
    Last edit by Mesomorph on Mar 24, '07
  9. 0
    mesomorph --

    I think you were asking a reasonable question based on curiosity... I think asking while at clinical may have been strange, but here?? why not?

    come on girls, he's a MAN... this is not something he's entirely used to.

    Give him a break! he's just asking a question!

    Hope your clinicals go well,

    A
  10. 0
    Thanks kangaroo haha It feels so wrong that I'm pretty much comfortable with vaginas and breasts. We're almost taught to feel guilty about that y'know? But yeah.. I suppose I'm getting "numb" to it the farther I get into it. It's gone from, "Oh gosh, a boob, close my eyes!" to "A boob is a boob... a foot is a foot." Nursing school kind of ruins the whole mystery of a woman's body before marriage haha... I'm going to know more about my wife's body than she does when I get married.

    I'd still be interested in others' perspectives/opinions.
  11. 0
    Perspectives on what?

    They are all different shapes, sizes and colors. That's it, really.


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