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.
Stress Anxiety And Breast Pain
During particularly harsh periods of anxiety, pressure and stress, you can experience breast pain.
What causes it?;While the science isnt in on the ‘why’, once again it seems to come back to hormonal fluctuations. Research has found correlations between the;impact of stress and;oestrogen levels, meaning that increased stress during a specific time during the menstrual cycle could cause excess discomfort.
Whats the treatment for stress-related breast pain?;Its easy for us to say dont stress so much but we know thats not as easy to do. Our stress health guide has lots of interesting articles and resources to help you better manage your stress. Youll also find programs and services we can offer if you need more help in getting on top of stress.
Taking Menopause Seriously In The Uk
Except, that is, if they live in the U.K. In their quest to end the stigma around menopause, members of parliament are pushing for legislation to recognize and protect working women going through the challenges of menopause by requiring employers to make accommodations for them, such as through flexible working policies. Leaders in Briton are taking menopause seriously as seriously as pregnancy or any other health condition that affects a womans everyday well-being.
A 2016 study of menopause in the workplace published in the international journal Maturitas underscored the need for employers to help by making adjustments to womens physical working environment, providing health promotion programs and raising managers awareness and sensitivity about generating a more positive cultural environment for menopausal women at work.
âUntreated menopausal symptoms have an enormous economic impact, directly affecting health care costs and work performance.â
Yet, theres still work to be done. Employees dont get the support they need. It is very difficult for women at work its ageism, its sexism all rolled into one, said Conservative MP Rachel Maclean in an August 2019 article in The Guardian.
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General Symptoms Of Breast Pain During Menopause
Symptoms of breast pain will vary depending on the individual woman. Pain and discomfort may be constant or intermittent, and pain levels may vary day to day. Some general symptoms of breast pain include:
- Discomfort or pain in one or both breasts
- Breasts too tender to touch, leading to the inability to tolerate a bra or even light clothing due to discomfort
- Sharp, stabbing or throbbing pains
It is important to be aware that your breast soreness may not always be linked to perimenopause. Consult your doctor if any of these additional symptoms arise:
- Pus discharge from the nipple in a clear, yellow or bloody fluid
- Noticeable increase in breast size
- Fever or chest pain
The addition of these symptoms could be an indication that a more serious condition exists. Always consult a doctor to confirm if breast soreness is hormonal or caused by another condition.
Soothe The Pain With Heat
So how do you sort this one out? One of the nice things to help, if it’s really getting uncomfortable and it’s a little bit tender, is a little bit of heat. You can get heat pads or just some microwave bags that you can heat up.
Just make sure you don’t have it too hot. The last thing you want to do is really scald your breast, but sometimes just a little bit of gentle heat can make you feel that little bit more comfortable.
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What Does Breast Pain Feel Like
Breast pain can feel different from woman to woman. And you wont always necessarily experience the same type of pain. It can vary in type and intensity. Either way it can be extremely unpleasant.
For example you can feel:
- Stabbing pains
You can get more than one type of pain at the same time or find that the type of pain changes between each episode. Episodes of breast pain can be short or prolonged. Were all different so your experience is unlikely to be the same as mine, or any other womans for that matter, but its just as valid.
Understanding Breast Pain During The Menopause
Alongside hot flushes, mood changes, and sleep issues, breast soreness can be a symptom of perimenopause the transitional period leading up to the menopause, which is when your ovaries lose their reproductive function and you stop getting periods. Perimenopause can last between 4-12 years , and most symptoms experienced during this time are caused by fluctuations in hormone levels.Throughout your reproductive years, breast tenderness can signal that your period is coming or be an early sign of pregnancy. However, the experience of breast pain during menopause is different.Here, we take a look at what happens to your breasts throughout menopause and outline simple ways you can manage pain and reduce any discomfort.
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Breast Pain After Menopause Treatment Approach
A woman who wants to get rid of chest pain can use three methods:
- to change the lifestyle;
- to use alternative medicine;
- to apply medication and surgery.
Women are encouraged to start with the least simple treatment for breast pain after menopause lifestyle correction. In some cases, this is effective. But, sometimes other methods should be used.
How To Ease Breast Pain During Menopause
Are your breasts feeling tender, achy and sore?This week on A.Vogel Talks Menopause I thought I would take a closer look at this very common menopause symptom. I explain what causes your breasts to feel tender and sore and offer my advice on how to ease breast pain.
Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I’m going to be discussing how to ease breast pain.
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What Are The Causes Of Early Menopause
Early or premature menopause can happen for two reasons: follicle depletion or follicle dysfunction.
When these occur, eggs dont mature or get released, causing a womans period to stop. These processes are considered normal when they occur later in life. If they occur early, your doctor will likely check for an underlying cause.
Follicle depletion and dysfunction can happen for a variety of reasons:
- Aging. The risks of early menopause rise after age 35.
- Family history. Being related to women who have a history of early or premature menopause may raise your risk.
- Genetic disorders. Having abnormal chromosomes or genes, as occurs in Turner syndrome or Fragile X syndrome.
- Toxins. Exposure to chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy used to treat cancer can affect onset of menopause.
- Autoimmune conditions. When the immune system mistakenly attacks the bodys hormone-producing organs, it can sometimes affect the ovaries.
- Infection. Having certain infections such as the mumps virus.
- Surgery. Procedures to remove the ovaries or uterus may cause early menopause.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and your menstrual cycle.
They may also:
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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.
Breast Pain In Menopause
The breast pain menopause sometimes brings with it happens when hormonal fluctuations cause fluid to build up in the breasts, making them swollen, tender and painful.
Its the same thing women with PMS experience in the lead up to their period, but it can become more marked in peri-menopause because your hormonal shifts become more dramatic. Your breasts may also change in size or shape around this time.
You shouldnt experience breast pain after youve stopped having periods completely, but it sometimes continues in women who take HRT.
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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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.
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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What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopausal Breast Pain
Perimenopausal breast pain is not the same as the discomfort you may experience around the time you get your period. Cyclical breast pain occurs just before a womans period and is characterised as a dull, heavy ache in both breasts .Perimenopausal breast pain, or noncyclical breast pain, may feel more like soreness or burning in either one or both breasts . However, breast pain during perimenopause can vary between individuals: for some, the discomfort may feel sharp, or give a throbbing and stabbing sensation .
What Does Breast Pain During Menopause Feel Like
What does it feel like? It does tend to be different according to sources. Your monthly period breast pain tends to be more of a kind of dull ache or a sort of heaviness. In the peri-menopause and menopause breast aches can be a bit sorer; it can be a bit of a sharper pain, it could be a stabbing pain as well.
And very often, there’s not necessarily a rhyme or reason to it. You may get them at any particular time of the month rather than just before you’ve got a period due. With this particular breast pain, it can just affect one breast.
You don’t necessarily have to get pain in the same place in both breasts, so that’s another little indication of peri-menopausal and menopausal breast pain.
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Concerning Symptoms Of Sore Breasts In Menopause
Breast pain, soreness, and discomfort can span the entire breast and spread into the armpit and the arm. Many women describe perimenopause breast soreness as much different from soreness around their period. For example, what once felt like a dull ache in both breasts before your period may now feel like burning, stabbing, or throbbing in perimenopause. Similarly, whereas both breasts are usually affected in breast soreness before a period, you may feel pain in only one breast in perimenopause.
While the above symptoms tend to be normal in perimenopause, the following breast-related symptoms are not normal and should be evaluated by a doctor:
- Discharge leaking from the nipple
- Redness on the breast
- Changes in the appearance of the breast
- Chest pain
- Breast support issues, such as pendulous breasts
What About Conventional Medicine
If you are looking for a conventional treatment to help with your menopause symptom, then it may be worth talking to your doctor. A range of treatments is available, although not all will be appropriate for you.
If your condition is severe or affecting your lifestyle, your doctor may recommend that you consider the use of HRT. However, this is associated with risks and side effects which your doctor will discuss with you.
It is important to seek medical advice if you are concerned about your breast pain, particularly if your nipples are affected, showing a discharge or bleeding, or if you feel a lump in your breast.
Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Me
If your breast symptoms are mild and accompanied by other signs of the menopause, start off with a soy supplement made from fermented soya beans. This is a great general supplement for women going through the menopause.
“This has worked for me I was always very active and suddenly found myself tired and a lot of aches this has now gone I also take the sage tablets and they are excellent.”If you are still having periods and the breast pain you experience coincides with your monthly cycle, use Agnus castus, a remedy specific for PMS and breast tenderness.
Top Causes Of Breast Pain During Menopause
As with most physical changes and menopause symptoms, breast pain is linked to changing hormone levels in a womans body.
When estrogen and progesterone levels begin to fluctuate and then decline, this can give rise to a number of symptoms that may feel strange or downright scary at first.
But sore breasts in and of themselves are not a cause for alarm.
As hormone levels become increasingly erratic, this can also cause the breasts themselves to change in shape or size. This is due to changing tissue composition, according to WebMD.
Once the milk-producing gland system is no longer needed, it shuts down and decreases in size as well as in density. This can cause breasts to sag itself a potential cause for soreness and change in shape or size.
Another common reason for breast tenderness during perimenopause is the formation of fluid-filled cysts or benign lumps. Here again, changes to tissue composition as well as fluid retention are often responsible for these changes and are linked to hormonal fluctuations.
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When To Seek Advice From Your Doctor
Because cystic or lumpy breasts can mimic breast cancer, if you detect any new lumps or bumps, your breasts appear to change in color, size or shape, you notice nipple discharge or your pain becomes severe, it is vital to talk with your doctor without delay.
Menopause symptoms are different for each woman and yours will be unique to your lifestyle, choices, genetic makeup and family history
As well, if the remedies you are trying are not providing you with the hoped-for results, this indicates it is time to revisit your treatment approach with your doctor.
Menopause symptoms are different for each woman and yours will be unique to your lifestyle, choices, genetic makeup and family history. Remember that no one else knows your own body better than you do.
In this process, it is important to talk with female family members and learn what worked for them in addressing sore breasts. But what matters most is to keep trying different strategies until you discover what works best for you.