Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of brmedjBMJ helping doctors make better decisionsSearchLatest content
Br Med J. May 7, 1977; 1(6070): 1188–1191.
PMCID: PMC1606822
Changes in breast sensitivity at puberty, during the menstrual cycle, and at parturition.
J E Robinson and R V Short
Sensitivity to pain and touch was measured in the nipple, areola, and cutaneous breast tissue of prepubertal boys and girls, postpubertal men and nuliparous women before and after delivery. Before puberty there were no differences between the sexes, but after puberty the tactile sensitivity of all areas of the women's breast was significantly greater than the men's. Tactil sensitivity of all areas also varied during the menstrual cycle, with maximal sensitivity at midcycle and at menstruation; the mid-cycle peak was absent when the women were taking oral contraceptives. But the most dramatic changes occured within 24 hours of parturition, when there was a great increase in breast sensitivity. This may be the key event for activating the suckling-induced discharge of oxytocin and prolactin and inhibiting ovulation during lactation.
Full text
Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (866K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page.
Articles from British Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of
BMJ Publishing Group