I've been having pain behind my right nipple... it started pretty much out of nowhere, and has been bothering me for about two months now. I'm hoping someone can help me out.
This started for me about 2 months ago. I'm still not sure whether this is relevant, but about a week before the pain started, I cut my nipple while trying to shave. It wasn't a bad cut, and there was no complication with the healing process. But a week later I woke up to this pain behind the areola. It only hurts when there is pressure pushing on it.
I ignored this for about a month, hoping it was nothing and that it would go away. Unfortunately it did not. So I saw a nurse at my college about it. She wasn't sure what the problem was, but prescribed the antibiotic Bactrim anyway, because infection was the only thing she could really think of.
It got tough for me here, though, because I had a bad reaction to the Bactrim. After taking it for 5 days, I got really sick for like 24 hours. I didn't take the Bactrim again (leaving about half the course unfinished). Interestingly, after feeling better, I noticed the pain in the nipple was completely gone for a week. It came back though.
I called the nurse and asked her what she thought, and she actually told me she didn't think my illness was a reaction to the Bactrim. On her advice, I took another Bactrim that night, and almost immediately got sick, again for about a day. Again, though, the pain was gone for about a week before returning (I haven't touched the Bactrim since).
When the pain came back again, I asked the nurse about it, and she said since it seemed like Bactrim was working we could try another antibiotic; she prescribed doxycycline for 10 days. It seemed to do nothing for about 8 days, but just as I was going to give up on it working, I woke up on day 9 to reduced pain in my nipple. It stayed that way for the next 2 days, but after running out of the antibiotic, it went back up. Again.
Unfortunately, the nurse doesn't want to prescribe any more antibiotics; she said she wants to do an ultrasound if the pain remains after the doxycycline. Now, I'm not a doctor, but I'm not so sure about that call. My theory is that, because of the two failed attempts to get rid of this with the Bactrim, the infection became a little resilient to further antibiotic attempts. I feel that this is why it took so long for the doxycycline to take effect, and why the 10 days weren't enough.
I could be wrong. However, the fact that both antibiotics really did seem to take effect at some points tells me that this has to be a bacterial infection. I guess some sort of placebo effect is also possible, but I don't think that's what it is. With the doxycycline, I had pretty much given up on it working before I woke up to diminished pain, and placebo effects come from a person believing the medication will work
That's pretty much it; I'm going back in to see the nurse on Wednesday. I'll let you know if I find out anything.
Is there anyone here that can tell me what might really be going on here? Can anyone tell me if it seems correct for me to think that this must really be a bacterial infection, and whether I should try to push for a longer course of antibiotics? I'd greatly appreciate some answers here.
A couple more things: something I just noticed, and something that I didn't think to include but may be important.
Just tonight I noticed a very tiny amount of cracking, that looks like it would bleed if it were larger. It is very small, and I admit I could be seeing things. But I do think there's something there.
I also didn't mention that the pain in the nipple tends to decrease greatly if the area is depressed or "massaged" for a few seconds. If a long time goes by without it being touched, it will be quite painful upon touching. If it is constantly messed with the pain will decrease for as long as it is being... messed with.
Now, I know that self-diagnosis isn't usually good, and I do have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. But at least this may be something I could ask the doctor:
Could this be male infectious mastitis?
Apparently this is very rare in men, but the more I look into it the more the symptoms seem to fit. The pain has seemed to decrease with antibiotics, indicating some sort of infection. The cracking seems to be a symptom. The fact that the pain decreases when massaged could be explained by the little milk glands being unblocked (or whatever, I'm obviously not an expert...) by the massaging.
The obvious unanswered question is what the cause would be. I don't have an answer for that; this is just a theory. It's really impossible for me to sit here and do nothing to try to figure this out. I'd appreciate any opinions here.
So, I went back to the nurse at my college yesterday, but didn't really learn anything.
They took some blood, but they got the tests back already and nothing is out of the ordinary. She wants to do an ultrasound to see what's going on, and doesn't want to prescribe anything else. Unfortunately, the ultrasound people only come to my school every other Wednesday, and of course they were there yesterday and I wasn't able to see them. So I have to wait two weeks for the ultrasound... hoping nothing happens between now and then.