Breast Pain and The Menstrual Cycle

Breast Pain and The Menstrual Cycle

Here are some points you should know about breast pain:

  • It is a normal premenstrual symptom that often occurs around 5-10 days before your period.
  • Cyclical breast pain is a normal part of the menstrual cycle and usually doesn't indicate a problem.
  • To find relief, you can try wearing supportive bras, applying warm or cold compresses, massaging your breasts, taking medications or herbs and supplements, altering your diet, or practicing meditation.

How breast pain and the menstrual cycle are related

Cyclical breast pain is a normal part of the menstrual cycle that occurs in a specific pattern related to the menstrual cycle. It usually happens during the luteal phase (the time after ovulation and before the start of your period) and goes away when your period begins. Some people may also experience breast pain due to hormone treatments, such as birth control, fertility treatments, or menopausal hormone therapy. These treatments can cause changes in hormone levels that may lead to breast pain.

How to identify if your breast pain is cyclical

Cyclical breast pain is a type of breast pain that follows a specific pattern and is related to the menstrual cycle. It typically occurs in the 5-10 days leading up to the start of your period and goes away after your period begins. The pain may feel aching, heavy, tender, sharp, or shooting, and the breasts may feel swollen or lumpy. In some cases, the pain may be severe enough to affect physical activity, sex, school, work, and sleep, though this is less common. If you experience breast pain that follows this pattern and is related to your menstrual cycle, it is likely cyclical breast pain.

Science-backed remedies for breast pain

There are several things you can try to relieve breast pain related to your menstrual cycle. These include wearing a well-fitting and supportive bra, using warm compresses or ice packs and gentle massage, taking over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, trying supplements and herbs like vitex agnus-castus or evening primrose oil, making dietary changes such as decreasing your fat intake, practicing progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation. If these remedies do not work, it is advisable to see a healthcare provider for further treatment options.

What is the cause of breast pain?

Cyclical breast pain, which is pain that occurs during the menstrual cycle and is commonly experienced after ovulation, is thought to be caused by hormonal changes, although the specific hormones involved are not known. Other possible causes of cyclical breast pain include fluid retention, lipid metabolism, and swollen milk ducts. Cyclical breast pain is a normal and common experience for many premenopausal people, but non-cyclical breast pain that persists or is concentrated in one area may be a sign of something more serious, such as inflammation, infection, injury, or cancer. Non-cyclical breast pain should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. Pregnancy can also cause breast pain and tenderness, and if pregnancy is a possibility, taking a pregnancy test is recommended.

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