Raynaud Phenomenon of the Nipple: An Under-Recognized Condition

Obstet Gynecol. 2019 May;133(5):975-977. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003219.


Background: Obstetricians often feel ill-equipped to address the symptom of breast pain in pregnant and postpartum patients.

Cases: In the first case, a 40-year-old woman in the second trimester of pregnancy reported nipple discoloration and severe pain. She was treated with nifedipine, and her symptoms decreased quickly and markedly. In the second case, a 32-year-old woman presented for a routine postpartum visit. She described breast pain and sporadic purple discoloration of the nipples, a finding confirmed on examination. Conservative measures of maintaining warmth were recommended.

Conclusion: Raynaud phenomenon of the nipple is an underdiagnosed condition affecting women in both the prenatal and postpartum periods. A careful history and physical must be obtained in women presenting with breast pain, because diagnosis and treatment allows breastfeeding continuation and mitigation of symptoms.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Diseases / complications
  • Breast Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Breast Diseases / drug therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nifedipine / therapeutic use*
  • Nipples*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*
  • Puerperal Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Puerperal Disorders / drug therapy
  • Raynaud Disease / complications
  • Raynaud Disease / diagnosis*
  • Raynaud Disease / drug therapy
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nifedipine