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One sore nipple- what could it be?

For the last week, my left nipple has been extremely sore. It doesn’t look any different from the right nipple, no lumps that I’ve felt, and no discharge. It does seem to stay erect most of the time, though, which is odd.
I called my doctor and she didn’t seem overly concerned because I’ve been off birth control for 6 months. She assumes it’s hormonal. However, it started a few days after my period ended- so I’m not sure it can really be hormonal. Has anyone ever experienced this? I’m 36 years old and had a mammogram 3 years ago due to lumps which turned out to be cysts.
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973741 tn?1342342773
My breast tenderness, nipple sensitivity starts AFTER my period.  That switched a couple of years ago for me and this is my typical pattern now.  So, hormones can do this after your period, fyi.  However, it's odd it is just one side, right?  I know with breast cancer worry, we always worry about something happening to just one breast.  However, this probably is not that.  :>)  I'd be more worried about infection of some sort.  If it continues, I'd go ahead and have your doctor do an exam.  I do think hormones can do this.  but you want to make sure.  No lumps? No nipple discharge, correct?
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