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HomeDo Breasts Get Tender During Menopause

Do Breasts Get Tender During Menopause

Reasons For An Increase In Breast Size

How to ease breast pain during menopause

Rest assured boob growth with age is normal. According to Victoria Karlinsky-Bellini, MD, FACS, a New York-based cosmetic surgeon,;it is often the result of fluctuating hormones as you go through perimenopause and menopause. For many women, the drop in hormones can trigger weight gain, she explains. There is an accumulation of fat cells, and part of that accumulation happens in the breast.;

As your hormones continue to rise, fall, and generally become as temperamental as you often feel, youll notice even more changes in your breasts, especially considering that gravity has already sort of taken its toll on the twins. Women who breast fed often find that the breast tissue shrinks, the skin gets stretched out with milk, and as the breast goes down, everything involutes, explains Andrew Cohen, MD, FACS, a California-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Whether or not you breastfed, you may notice a larger space between the breasts, or the area around the areola may get bigger or smaller, plus, the breast tissue itself becomes less elastic.;

What Are The Treatments For Noncyclic Breast Pain

Its more difficult to figure out the best treatment for noncyclic breast pain. Thats because its hard to know exactly where the pain is coming from. In addition, the pain is not hormonal. Treatment will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

Your healthcare provider will do a physical exam and may order a mammogram. In some cases, a biopsy of the area is also needed. If it is found that the pain is caused by a cyst, then the cyst will be aspirated. This means that a small needle will be used to remove the liquid contents of the cyst. Depending on where the pain starts, treatment may include pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medicines, and compresses.

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What Causes Breast Tenderness With Dr Suzanne Mcmurry

As far as breast soreness in menopause, there are some factors that can definitely influence this. First, if the women is on bioidentical hormones, or just hormones in general, the dosage may be too high. She should have her hormone levels tested, through blood work, by her gynecologist or primary care doctor.

Second is diet related. This relates to either food sensitivities, specific to Immunoglobulin-G related food allergies. These allergies trigger the immune system, increasing inflammation and resulting in symptoms related to breast tenderness, joint aches, digestive upset, headaches and migraines, just to name a few. Caffeine consumption also has a strong, direct correlation with breast tenderness. If youre drinking more then 1 cup of coffee daily, substitute the rest with decaf or better yet, herbal teas and water, and do this for a week. Does this improve your pain?

Third relates to excess fatty tissue. In menopause, your ovaries are no longer producing estrogen. The main driver in estrogen production at this stage is your fat tissue. Some women store most of their fat in their breasts, others in various other places . This excess fat can give you symptoms related to what you may have experienced during or around your menstrual cycle. Exercise, Epsom salt baths, sauna treatments, all are great ways to eliminate the estrogens released from your fat tissue. These treatments also help to detoxify your body, enabling efficient and effective elimination of hormones.

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You Can’t 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.

It’s ironic, isn’t it? From our “tender” preteen days, most of us couldn’t wait until that first sign of womanhood. We couldn’t wait to buy — and wear — our first training bra.

Of course, you’ve got to be careful what you wish for. My daughter, Sarah, was a late bloomer and prayed for boobs. They didn’t 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!

Intimacy Interruptus

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 I’m mid-cycle” said one perimenopausal friend. “He can’t even look at them without getting the ‘evil eye’ from me! My breasts are so painful that sometimes I can’t even bear to have the shower head pointed toward them.”

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When Should I Go To The Doctor For Breast Tenderness

How to Overcome Breast Pain

When women hear about breast tenderness in menopause, they immediately think breast cancer. But good news is, breast soreness is rarely a symptom of breast cancer, and this is proven by theHarvard Health Publications. With that said, what are some warning signs that you need to go to your doctor?

  • Severe and frequent pain with fluid discharge
  • Breast pain that doesnt go away which isnt connected to your period
  • Unusual symptoms, like lumps, nipple discharge, severe swelling and redness
  • Orange-peel skin
  • Dimples in the surrounding area of your breast
  • Numbness in hands or fingers
  • Chest pain

I know many women are afraid of breast cancer, but you can take part in your own assessment. A good way to do this is to practice the self-breast exam which you can learn on your own. Heres a great video that demonstrates how to do this :

Breast tenderness in menopause isnt a cause of concern. It rarely needs medical attention but always remember that you know your body more than anyone else. If you feel like something is not right, check it out the soonest!

Whats your experience on breast soreness? Tell us in the comments below. Are you on social media? Spread the word on , and !

Resources:

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Breast Pain After Menopause And More

Breast pain, sometimes referred to as mastalgia, is either cyclical or noncyclical.

Cyclical breast pain.;This is the kind that’s linked to menstruation and apparently results from monthly fluctuations of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Although studies have not found any hormonal abnormality that explains cyclical breast pain, we know that estrogen and progesterone have a stimulating effect, increasing the size and number of ducts and milk glands and causing the breast to retain water.

A few days before menstruation, both breasts may swell and become tender, painful, or lumpy. The pain may extend to the upper and outer portions of the breast, the armpit, and the arm. The symptoms subside when menstruation ends. Cyclical pain may worsen during perimenopause, when hormones can surge and drop erratically, and linger into menopause, especially in women who use oral contraceptives or hormone therapy.

Noncyclical breast pain.;This type of breast pain isn’t obviously linked to menstruation and doesn’t follow any predictable pattern. It may be constant or intermittent, may affect one breast or both, and may involve the whole breast or just a small part. Noncyclical pain is usually a symptom of a specific problem, such as a cyst, trauma, or a benign tumor. Several conditions affecting the chest wall, esophagus, neck and upper back, and even the heart can produce symptoms that are felt as breast pain.

Breast Pain And Cancer

There are many reasons you might be experiencing breast pain, but breast cancer is not likely to be one of them. More;likely signs of breast cancer;are:

  • lumps
  • changes in the shape or size of the breasts or their skin
  • crusting, redness or discharge from the nipple
  • inflammation around the breast, collarbone or armpit.

If you have any concerns, you should always consult a doctor or specialist. Read more about how often you should be checking your breasts and who should be getting regular breast screenings, in our article about breast cancer and breast health.

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Should You See A Doctor

Changes to the size and shape of your breasts cannot technically be fixed through a doctor unless you undergo surgical procedures.

Tenderness and pain in the breast tissue can be handled with over-the-counter medications and other at-home care remedies. At least that is, most of the time.

Some of the following instances are when to worry about breast pain.

If you start to experience lumps in the breasts, seeing a doctor is a good idea. You dont know if those lumps are cysts or something much worse, so getting answers early on will only benefit you in the long run.

Other scenarios where you should book an appointment with your doctor may include lumpy, firm, or thick areas. Where are most of these breast cancer lumps found? In the breast tissue or underneath the arm.

If you experience nipple discharge, or a sunken nipple, medical supervision is recommended.

Shrinking or swelling of breast on only one side should be medically checked out, too. If the problem of one breast larger after menopause starts to occur, lumps may be starting to form.

Be aware that reduced estrogen levels may also cause skin and connective tissue to become dehydrated, inadvertently losing elasticity.

Other than that, common breast changes that occur in almost all of us will include stretch marks, downward pointing nipples, wider space between the breasts, and minor lumpiness.

Breast Pain After Menopause Can Come In Many Forms

5 other breast changes during menopause

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.

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What Happens To Your Breasts During Menopause

As you enter perimenopause, your levels of oestrogen and progesterone rise and fall unevenly before eventually declining. Its thought that the hormonal spikes you experience throughout perimenopause may impact your breast tissues and result in noncyclical breast pain and soreness. Noncyclical breast pain refers to pain that does not vary in line with your menstrual cycle.Of course, you may also continue to experience cyclical breast pain just before your period during perimenopause.You officially reach menopause when you havent had a menstrual bleed for 12 consecutive months. At this stage, the hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause have settled however, your ovaries will continue to produce negligible amounts of oestrogen and breast discomfort should improve.

The Breasts And What They Do For You

Why do we have breasts in the first place?

Breasts are part of the reproductive system and are also called accessory organs. They come in different shapes and sizes, but women have more developed breasts than men. This is because we have more estrogen and progesterone, hormones that are responsible for breast growth. While our breasts only have a few functions, they are essential for the survival of humanity.

The breasts primary function is to produce milk to nourish infants and babies. As we go through pregnancy, certain hormones stimulate the milk-making tissue in our breasts to grow and begin producing breast milk.

Aside from lactation, breasts also serve as sex organs. They contain thousands of nerve endings, making them one of the most sensitive parts of the body. Although they dont take a big role in reproduction, they are specialized organs that make sex a pleasurable experience.

Our breasts undergo a lot of changes throughout life. They are dependent on our fats , muscle mass, hormones and aging. It is important for us to know the normal structure and function of our breasts, so we can detect abnormalities.

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How Hrt Can Contribute To Breast Tenderness

The exception to this may be if youre taking HRT. For some women, HRT itself can contribute to breast tenderness. Over on our Live Better With Menopause forum, community member Nicolak reports noticing fullness and pain when she had to switch to a different form of HRT due to shortages even when she went back onto her original HRT, the breast symptoms lingered. My boobs are huge and sore, she says. If youre on HRT and think its causing breast pain, speak to your GP switching to a different type may help.

Breast Pain Not Linked To Periods

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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

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I’m 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

This article has been archived. We will no longer be updating it. For our most up-to-date information, please visit our breast health information here.

Q:

I’m 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?

A:

Swollen and tender breasts are often a sign of high levels of estrogen, which is common in the perimenopausal period. It’s also common when you’re 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, you’re 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 .

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.

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Sore Breasts Before Your Period

One symptom of premenstrual syndrome is the swelling and tenderness of the breasts. Pain can range in severity, though its usually on the lower end of the spectrum.

What causes it?;During the hormonal changes cause by menstruation, oestrogen activates the breast ducts to enlarge and progesterone triggers the milk glands to swell . How can you ease breast pain before your period? If youre finding that over-the-counter painkillers arent working for this cyclical type of breast pain, you should see your GP for more options. Your doctor might recommend diuretics or oral contraceptives to help ease more severe pre-period breast pain.

How Does Menopause Affect Your Breasts

What Is The Best Solution For Breast Tenderness In Perimenopause?

So, why on earth does the menopause affect breast tissue so much? It’s one of the things that we’re really fighting against as we go through the menopause. Our breast tissue is very, very sensitive to oestrogen. It has a lot of oestrogen-receptor sites in it. So, when our , as we approach the menopause and go through the menopause, this can have quite a marked effect on the size, shape, and structure of our breasts.

Now, the most common breast symptom that tends to happen during the menopause is breast tenderness and discomfort. But, there are other breast issues that can happen so I thought I would go through those ones today.

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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.

Risk Factors For Breast Pain

Your breast soreness may be related to menopause, or it could be a symptom of another condition. Your risk of having breast soreness is higher if you take certain medicines.

Some drugs with mastalgia as a side effect include:

  • Water pills : Increase urination and used to treat kidney disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure
  • Hormone replacement therapies : Usually refers to a combination of the female hormones estrogen and/or progesterone
  • Digitalis: Prescribed for heart failure
  • Methyldopa: Used to treat high blood pressure
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors : Used to treat various mental health conditions

Other risk factors for breast pain include:

  • Wearing a poorly fitting bra
  • Gaining weight or having large breasts

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