Sore Breasts And Menopause
Menopause is another process of hormonal change, and this can cause breast pain in the same way your period does. Some women may find that during peri-menopause that their cyclical breast pain worsens, due to erratic hormone levels. Its also worth mentioning that many women have anxiety about breast pain they might feel after menopause, assuming it is a sign of breast cancer. The good news is that only 2%7% of women with non-cyclical breast pain in one spot will go on to receive a cancer diagnosis.
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Caffeine And Breast Pain
Your morning brew might be the culprit behind your breast pain, but unfortunately, were still not sure why.
What do we know so far? In a study on women with pain associated with fibrocystic breast disease, a reduction in the amount of caffeine consumed led to less breast pain.
How can I use this information? Trialling a few less coffees a day or week could yield beneficial results. If the idea of not having coffee is a terrifying prospect, switching to decaf or a strong, black tea could be a satisfactory substitute.
What To Look For
If you noticed scaliness or redness on your nipple, or either of those conditions on the skin of your breast, this is not a good sign. If you discover a knot or lump anywhere in your breast or armpit, see a doctor immediately. If a lump or any thickening of the breast or nipple doesnt resolve after a menstrual period, which peri-menopausal women still have, this needs to be addressed as well. Breast puckering, dimpling or the appearance of indentations is an indicator of breast cancer.
- If you noticed scaliness or redness on your nipple, or either of those conditions on the skin of your breast, this is not a good sign.
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Tips And Tricks To Relieve Breast Pain
- Pain relief is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Over the counter pain relief is widely available e.g Ibuprofen or paracetamol. Ask your pharmacist for some advice. They are medically trained and discreet when it comes to personal matters. A lot of pharmacies/ chemists now have a private consultation booth for people who prefer to ask for advice in private.
- A supportive bra is important. A surprising number of us are wearing the wrong size bra. Have a proper bra fitting done. A lot of reputable stores offer a free fitting service and advice on suitable bra styles. Underwired bras may be a contributing factor for breast pain. So if you usually wear an underwired bra its worth trying a bra that has supporting wide elastic under the cups instead.
- A warm shower or warm bath can help the pain. Dont have the water too hot though, nice and warm will do. Especially if you suffer with hot flushes and night sweats. You dont want to trigger one.
- Heat pads may also help relieve the discomfort. You need to read the instructions though as some are not suitable to be placed directly on the skin. Remember you need warm not hot, particularly on sensitive areas of skin such as your breasts.
- Caffeine and smoking can make the pain worse. Cut down, or if possible, cut them out completely.
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Im 46 Years Old And Going Through Perimenopause I Have Irregular Periods And Water Retention My Breasts Always Feel Swollen Not Sorejust Enlarged Is This Due To Water Retention And Lack Of Progesterone Besides Using Progesterone Cream Is There A Natural Way To Help With This Breast Enlargement
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Im 46 years old and going through perimenopause. I have irregular periods and water retention. My breasts always feel swollen not sorejust enlarged. Is this due to water retention and lack of progesterone? Besides using progesterone cream, is there a natural way to help with this breast enlargement?
Swollen and tender breasts are often a sign of high levels of estrogen, which is common in the perimenopausal period. Its also common when youre pregnant and just before your period . One study found about a third of women experienced tender breasts in early perimenopause. The good news is that this is often the first menopausal symptom to disappear as you get closer to the menopause itself, which, as you may know, is 12 months from the date of your last period.
Because high levels of estrogen are often behind the breast swelling, youre right to think that progesteronewhich can help balance your hormonal levels and prevent estrogen from overstimulating breast tissuemight be a possible treatment. There are numerous options available, including natural progesterone cream that can be applied to the skin or vaginally , oral progesterone, and progesterone-only birth control pills .
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Painful Sex And Reduced Libido
Changes, such as vaginal atrophy, can lead to increasingly painful sex. This pain can be both sharp and intense, and can occur any time before, during, or after sex, making it sometimes difficult to pinpoint the cause.Additionally, menopause can affect your libido in several ways:
- Vaginal dryness
- Depression and mood swings
- Embarrassment about weight gain and other bodily menopause symptoms
If youre experiencing any of these symptoms, its important that you talk to your partner and your doctor, so you can feel comfortable about the changes you are going through and begin any needed efforts toward managing discomfort.
How Does Sex Feel After Menopause
Most women experience changes in the way sex feels around the time of menopause. Changes to sexual feeling reported by menopausal women commonly include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vulvo-vaginal itching and/or
- Vulvo-vaginal irritation.
Women may also experience a reduction in the size of their breasts and decreased nipple sensation.
Urogenital symptoms may make sex uncomfortable or painful or reduce a womans libido. While many women experience reduced libido following menopause, it is important to note that some feel sexier and freer about their sexual interactions.
It is also important to note that many women who do experience changed sexual feelings do not feel these changes affect the quality of their sex life, and many women continue to enjoy sex after menopause despite it feeling different. It is also important for menopausal women to be cognisant that sexual feelings change differently for each woman. While the majority report reduced sexual desire, a considerable proportion also report increasing desire post-menopause. For example, in one qualitative study, a quarter of participants reported that their libido increased after menopause.
In around one third of couples, changes to the male partnerssexual function is the cause of female sexual dysfunction post-menopause.
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Breast Pain Not Linked To Periods
Sometimes breast pain is caused by:
- injuries or sprains to the neck, shoulder or back these can also be felt as breast pain
- medicines like the contraceptive pill and some antidepressants check the side effects in the packet’s information leaflet
- conditions like mastitis or a breast abscess these can cause breast pain along with other symptoms
- pregnancy breast pain can be an early sign
What Causes Breast Changes From Menopause
A natural process of aging in menopausal women is our breasts come to grips with the realities of gravity, losing their previous firmness and full shape.
But these changes can involve pain in your breasts, maybe a dull ache, heaviness, tightness, or a burning sensation. Breast pain may be linked to a menstrual cycle, and it is usually not a symptom of cancer. The hormonal changes in a womans body post-menopause cause the skin to lose moisture and elasticity. This has a stretching, sagging effect on the breasts. Many, but not all, older women should expect to change a cup size due to the breast size changes.
Effects of hormone levels on the breasts may include increased pain and lumpiness, which understandably can be worrisome if youre looking for signs of breast cancer. A lump that gets smaller over time is unlikely to be cancer. A lump that remains the same size or gets bigger should be evaluated because of a risk of breast cancer.
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Are Sore Boobs/nipples Are Menopause Symptom
TMI but Im too lazy to name change My nipples hurt! Both of them! The areloas too. They hurt if I bump them, but I can sort of feel them all the time, its a bit of a hot ache. Im mid/late cycle nowI cant feel any obvious lumps but then It hurts to squeeze.Im 49, regular periods although the gap between them is shortening, quite heavy. Usually take tranexamic acid. Had this a week or so. Any thoughts?
Yes, quite common. I find it during estrogen surges in perimenopause, for me it was worse at the beginning of all this. Take a note to see if it is hormonal – sounds like it if your period is due. It will probably get better when it starts. Go to the doctor if you feel it needs checked out. Gap shortening and changes to flow are usually the first sign of change and this is called the late reproductive period, usually once they get a bit more irregular you’ll be in perimenopause.
Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. My gut instinct was that it was my ageAfter 35 years of periods Ill be glad to see the back of them.I got away lightly years ago. 32 day cycle of really light flow, no PMT. Now, Im a monthly chocolate scoffing, tearful, flooding mess.
Evening primrose or starflower oil might help. For me that was a symptom which didn’t last too long, 5 years into peri now and I think I’ve ticked most of them off!
All Women Need To Check Their Breasts Regularly
Because your breasts are likely to become lumpier anyway it can make things a little harder to judge. But if you check your breasts and armpits regularly you get to know how they normally look and feel. Which means that you will spot anything out of the ordinary sooner rather than later.
This can save your life.
Changes to look out for include:
- Unusual Lumps
- Increase in size
- Change in appearance such as puckering of the skin
A lump is not necessarily cancer and more often than not it isnt. Its important though to get any lumps or changes you find checked by your doctor as soon as possible. If you find any of the things I have listed above, or anything that is unusual for you and is causing you concern make an appointment with your doctor.
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Why Might Early Menopause Occur
Aside from medical procedures like the ones mentioned above, early menopause might also be a result of certain biological abnormalities. These include chromosome defects, genetics, family history, and autoimmune diseases. It is quite a rare occurrence and will not happen to the vast majority of women.
Why Do Sexual Feelings Change After Menopause
Hormonal changesSexual feelings change in the peri-menopausal period and persist post-menopause due to hormonal changes. Prior to menopause, the ovaries produce the majority of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone in a womans body. As ovarian hormone production ceases post-menopause, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels decline.
Oestrogen largely regulate vaginal function , while testosterone affects the functioning of the vulva. Reduced hormone levels in the menopausal period therefore affect the function of the vagina and vulva.
Physiology of the vagina
The vagina is a complex structure, consisting of several layers, a fibrous outer layer or rough skin cells, a middle muscular layer and smooth inner layer of skin cells known as the epithelium. The majority of the bodys cells which utilise and have their function regulated by oestrogen and progesterone are found in the vagina. The cells of the vulva comprise the majority of the bodys cells which utilise and are regulated by testosterone.
In the pre-menopausal period when levels of oestrogen and other hormones are high, the vagina is characterised by:
- Relatively high blood flow
- A thicker epithelium, that is a thicker layer of smooth skin cells
- Greater acidity and
- Increased lubrication.
The changes to hormone production which occur at menopause, and particularly the rapid decline in oestrogen production, cause the skin and muscles cells of the vagina and vulva to deteriorate.
Vaginal blood flow
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Why Does Menopause Cause Breast Pain
Breast pain in women is most often associated with hormonal changes and imbalances, although the exact reason is unclear.
During the hormonal fluctuations of the peri-menopause and menopause, breasts can increase in size. This occurs when the level of the hormone progesterone increases while oestrogen decreases. The result can be pain and tenderness.
When To See A Doctor
Its important to see your doctor for any new breast or nipple pain. While most cases of breast pain are easily managed, you would not want to delay a diagnosis of breast cancer or a serious non-breast-related cause like a heart condition.
Its true that the risk for breast cancer increases with age and that most cases are diagnosed after age 50. But breast pain is rarely a symptom of cancer, particularly if its your only symptom.
Other warning signs of breast cancer may include:
- Thickening or lump in your breast or under the arm
- Pitting of the skin, giving it an orange peel look
- Nipple discharge
- Swelling, redness
- Change in size or shape of your breast
Your doctor can help determine if your breast soreness is hormonal or if another condition might be causing your symptoms.
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You Cant Touch That Tender Breasts During Perimenopause And Menopause
Hot flashes. Mood swings. Weight gain. Osteoporosis. Just a few of the many symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Add breast tenderness to that never-ending laundry list. For some women, tenderness is a gross and I mean gross!) understatement.
Its ironic, isnt it? From our tender preteen days, most of us couldnt wait until that first sign of womanhood. We couldnt wait to buy and wear our first training bra.
Of course, youve got to be careful what you wish for. My daughter, Sarah, was a late bloomer and prayed for boobs. They didnt appear on the scene until she was about 18 or so. Fast forward 16 years, Sarah now writes a wonderful blog called, smilescurlsandbaby lessons, joys, and laughs in baby making and life! She found pregnancy took her breasts to a whole new letter, Aint Nothin But a G-Thang.Baby.! Now if only we could train our breasts to not be so sore all the time!
Pregnancy is not the only life cycle phase that can affect intimacy. During perimenopause, sore breasts can cause marital intimacy to suffer as well. My breasts are off-limits to my husband when Im mid-cycle said one perimenopausal friend. He cant even look at them without getting the evil eye from me! My breasts are so painful that sometimes I cant even bear to have the shower head pointed toward them.
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Management Of Breast Swelling And Tenderness
There are many lifestyle adjustments that can help make breast pain and swelling more manageable:
- Lower caffeine and salt consumption. Excessive consumption of both can be linked to the worsening of swelling and tenderness in the breasts as they can cause water retention.
- Take more vitamin E. Early studies have proven this vitamins benefits for women suffering from cyclic breast pain and swelling.
- Wear a well-fitting bra. This may be one of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing breast pain. Wear it while exercising and sleeping when they are extra sensitive.
- Use warm compresses. Applying a warm compress at the base of each breast can help relieve the pain after a particularly excruciating day.
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Breast Pain After Menopause Can Come In Many Forms
Menopause has come and gone. Why do I still have breast pain?
In most cases, breast pain is a by-product of reproductive life: Like breast swelling, it waxes and wanes during the menstrual cycle, and it’s one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. Many women expect breast pain to go away after menopause. When it doesn’t, they may fear they have breast cancer. Fortunately, breast pain is rarely a symptom of cancer, regardless of age. Still, that possibility should be considered, along with a number of noncancerous conditions that affect the breasts.
What Are The Signs Of Nipple Problems
Nipple symptoms are common symptoms that can occur in both women and men in any age group or population. Many underlying causes of nipple symptoms are benign, but some symptoms may be caused by serious diseases, such as breast cancer.
Nipple symptoms can include:
Flaking of the nipple skin
New onset of or other change in nipple shape
Nipple bleeding and cracking
Nipple discharge that can be white, clear, red, brown or green
Nipple soreness, tenderness or
- Rash or sore on the nipple
Nipple symptoms can vary in character and intensity depending on the underlying cause and individual factors. They can be constant, or may be felt only when you examine or squeeze your nipple. Nipple symptoms can gradually build for weeks or months, or they can appear suddenly, such as nipple symptoms of mastitis or pregnancy. Nipple symptoms can occur in both breasts at once or in one breast at a time.
Your nipples and breasts will undergo normal changes during the course of your life in size, shape, consistency and appearance. Hormonal changes are a common cause of nipple symptoms. Hormonal changes can occur at the onset of puberty during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, breastfeeding, perimenopause and menopause and with the use of hormone medications.
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