Montgomery Tubercles: An Early Sign of Pregnancy?


It’s normal for women who are planning a pregnancy to look for early signs of pregnancy. If you research these signs online, Montgomery tubercles is one of the first things on the list. Are these really a sign that you’re pregnant, or could they be caused by something else entirely? Before that question can be answered, it’s important to first explain what Montgomery tubercles are.

What Are Montgomery Tubercles?

The Areolar glands, also known as Montgomery’s glands, are sebaceous glands in the areola. The main job of Montgomery’s glands is to produce oily secretions (similar to the sebaceous glands on your scalp) to keep the areola and nipple protected and lubricated.

Montgomery tubercles are one of these glands, and they’re responsible for keeping the breast lubricated during breast-feeding. These tiny glands that surround the nipple not only keep the breast lubricated, but protect against infection to help keep the baby healthy.

Montgomery tubercles appear on the surface of the skin as tiny bumps. They may appear on the areola and the nipple itself.

These bumps become more apparent when the nipple is stimulated. They also become more prominent during pregnancy.

The number of glands a woman has can range between four and 28.

Is Montgomery Tubercles An Early Sign of Pregnancy?

Montgomery tubercles can be a sign of early pregnancy (what other signs are?). Many women state that the appearance of these bumps was one of the first signs that they noticed when they learned they were pregnant. Some women notice Montgomery tubercles before their missed period, while others experience them later on in the pregnancy.

[Read more about Early Pregnancy]

You may also notice a darkening of the areolas along with Montgomery tubercles. These changes start occurring as the breasts start preparing to produce milk in the first few weeks of pregnancy. As you progress through the pregnancy, your areolas will also become larger.


Other early signs of pregnancy include:

    • Missed period: This is one of the first noticeable signs of pregnancy. The rising hormone levels in your body prevent your uterine lining from shedding, which causes you to miss your period.
    • Tender, swollen breasts: As the levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body rise during the first few weeks of pregnancy, some women experience tender, painful or swollen breasts. Breast tenderness typically appears a few days after conception.
  • Fatigue: Your body builds your baby’s placenta during the first few weeks of pregnancy. The placenta is what will provide your baby with nourishment throughout your pregnancy. It takes a great deal of energy to build the placenta. This coupled with rising hormone levels can lead to extreme fatigue. After the first trimester, the fatigue becomes less severe.
  • Food cravings: A shift in hormones can also cause food cravings, which are most prominent during the first trimester.
  • Bleeding: Half of women who experience normal pregnancies also experience spotting (bleeding) that’s brown or pink in color. While many women will carry out normal, healthy pregnancies despite this spotting, bleeding can also be a sign of a miscarriage.
  • Frequent urination: Pressure from the growing uterus and an increase in water weight gain will cause you to take more trips to the bathroom.
  • Morning sickness: An enhanced sense of small, the stretching of the uterine muscles and excess acid in the stomach can all cause morning sickness, which is a common early sign of pregnancy.

If you are experiencing Montgomery tubercles along with other signs of early pregnancy, consider taking a home pregnancy test and seeing your doctor right away. If you are pregnant, it is important to begin prenatal care as soon as possible.

What Else Can Cause Montgomery Tubercles?

While Montgomery tubercles is a very early symptom of pregnancy, bumps on the areola can also be caused by other things.

In some cases, Montgomery tubercles can be caused by:

  • A hormonal imbalance
  • Stress
  • Physical changes

It is important to remember that these glands are a normal part of your breast, and will always be there. They may become more pronounced at times for one of the reasons above, or for no reason at all. The appearance of Montgomery tubercles is not a sure sign of pregnancy, but if these bumps appear out of nowhere and you are experiencing other pregnancy symptoms, there is a good chance that you are pregnant.

If Montgomery tubercles are more prominent and you’re experiencing discharge from these glands, see your primary care physician immediately. One study has shown that discharge from these glands may be an early sign of breast cancer.


  1. I’m 19 years old and at the moment am currently homeless I have noticed these bumps around and on my nipples at first I thought they were pimples but never popped them I have taken multiple pregnancy tests and they have all come up negative I’m not stressed and don’t have any physical changes is there a possibility that I might be pregnant but the home pregnancy tests aren’t detecting it

    • Hunny your just a baby…something is wrong. you may have an std. a baby in there with some thing wrong. But. More of a chance thats a miscarriage you need to go to the doctor my love asap. Those are the only 3 things that could be happening to you please go to doctor

  2. hey,

    I am 24, I was on the birth control pil for about 4 years however I stopped taking it 4 days ago because I had a constant headache. The past few days my breasts have been soo sore and the bumps on my nipples have dramatically increased. Im very tired and feel slightly sick, I did a pregnancy test and it came back negative however I only had my period a week and a half ago so its probably too early. Can anyone think what else could be causing this?

    thanks 🙂

    • Thats from stopping taking DRUGS aka birth control pills… Try eating things with natural estrogen.n phytoestrogens until your hormoes balance back out naturally and then you will feel better than ever

      • Why are you so negative in all your comments, this is a public forum for ppl to try to get answers. You’re not helping with the negative comments. Stop it Hun, I don’t think you would like it.

  3. I’m 19 and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while now and I missed my period this month and these bumps have started to show up and my pregnancy tests all keep saying negative does any one know what this could mean? I also been feeling sick and I had a mild headache the past couple of days

    • I am 19 and have all these same things going on- the feeling of sick, headache, nipple bumps… I haven’t been trying to get pregnant though!

      I do get easily stressed, and my period is in a week so we will see the results… but let me know if you figured out what’s going on!

  4. Hi am 22 I’m off the birth control injection for one year and four month rerecently my breast nipples became tender I sleep a lot and the bumps around my nipples become bigger do the home pregnancy test it say nagitive can some one help me please

  5. Well let me start by saying hello I’m 18 yrs old not trying to get pregnant a week before my period was due I had mild cramping head aches frequent urination vivid dreams food ad version no nausea back pain in lower abdomen on and off for like 10 secs I have a 32 day cycle I had unprotected sex on the 20 th of January 8 to 9 days later I noticed a pink spotting that then turned brown then it became heavier as of rn it’s only been 4 days now nothing I have a little bit of lower abdominal pain on day 2 and 5 I took test they all said the same (bfn) big fat Negative!!! What could it be

  6. I’m 18, I’ve noticed these small pimple/bumps as described and have other pregnancy symptoms, but it’s also symptoms for diabetes and other medical symptoms can the bumps be linked to anything else? I’m not stressed as such (other than normal teen thing ?) and no physical changes or abnormal changes other than these bump type things and sore boobs ?

  7. Hi, I’ve noticed these bumps after I had protected sex on April 11th. I have had other pregnancy symptoms but i took one test when the 3rd week came around, but it said negative. I am on bc and I have been for about a year and some months now. I’m irregular but I know when I’m on my period. I have headaches , fatigue , dizziness , tender nipples and breast , back spasms , lower abdominal spasms , I’ve notice my nipples peeling , these bumps , and my breast got a lot heavier. I don’t feel pregnant , but I know something is not right within my body , could it just mean I’m growing ? Please help.

  8. I’m 17 and had unprotected sex one time. My nipples have been sooo sore and this morning I noticed the little white bumps on the tip of my nipples and I’m always tired and I missed my period. I’ve never had sore nipples nor have I ever noticed these bumps but got a negative on my home pregnancy test. It’s only been 16 days though

  9. I am 41 years old i have one child and she is now 22 . in the past 2 weeks i have seen my belly is getting bigger and i eat alot and i have bumps arond my nipples and my brest hurt what can that be ?

  10. Hello, I am 27years old I have my period last month and during my ovulation I’ve had unprotected sex exactly 3days after my ovulation day and I took the postinor 2 morning after pill within 24hrs but I’m noticing my nipples have some small bumps around them and my period is due in 5days, I’m worried that I might be pregnant because I’ve read that the pill won’t work if I’ve already ovulated… Could I be pregnant?

  11. I am 35. I had a dark brown apple sauce quarter size day one of my period on sept. 1st, followed by 2 days of light bleeding only on pads, not in the toilet. I thought nothing of it.

    Then around the 25th started getting really dizzy and light headed… around 27th realized my areolas were bigger… usually they are scribbled and relaxed… now they have days they are stretched daus they are relaxed… today is the 30th. The 29th i found new areola bumps forming and like a pinching / burning ish pain? Its like a nagging pain… today i realized tiny bumps on my nipple too.

    Does it sound like pregnancy? I have been hesitant to take a test because we have been trying a while… not ready for a no yet.

    Also. Is it common for the pain to switch between boobs and be severe in one then the other?

  12. Hey guys.
    Im 21 years old. I did get like a period. Or spotting not to sure?
    Around 5 weeks ago. Still no period. Still hasnt come this week.
    My belly is huge. I was only 63kg a couple of weeks ago. All of a sudden my weight came from no where. Big hips. Belly bloated constipated. My boobs are so tender. One side i actially squeezed (right)) was water… The left one came out milky. Strange right? I feel so bloated just soo fat all the time. Going to the clinic on monday but i feel so different

  13. Hi. I’m 22. For the past two months I’ve had a extremely light time of the month. The last time I had unprotected sex was in the beginning Feb(first or second week) and got a regular period but for March and April It was basically like spotting(brownish color) but I have also experienced very sore and sensitive nipples,swollen opening,lighy cramps,slight headaches and neasea but only at nught the later it is the worse it gets so I said i would wait to see if it would be normal in May …May is here and I’m still spotting so far…what does this mean? Has anyone else been through this? Thanks in advance

  14. Hi. I’m 22. For the past two months I’ve had a extremely light time of the month. The last time I had unprotected sex was in the beginning Feb(first or second week) and got a regular period but for March and April It was basically like spotting(brownish color) but I have also experienced very sore and sensitive nipples,swollen opening,lighy cramps,slight headaches and neasea but only at nught the later it is the worse it gets so I said i would wait to see if it would be normal in May …May is here and I’m still spotting so far…what does this mean? Has anyone else been through this? Thanks in advance sorry about the misspellings

  15. Hello. I’m Franchessica. I’m 35 yrs old, married without two children. My son is 16yrs old and my daughter is 10yrs old. Last year my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to get both her breast’s cut off. This is worrying me because today I noticed that’s one of the bumps on my areola is swollen now my period went off about a week and a half ago and me and my husband have been having unprotected sex. Is the swollen bump an early sign of pregnancy or cancer?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here