How Breast Pain Is Evaluated
It’s important to discuss any breast pain with your clinician. She or he will take a careful history to try to rule out any conditions outside the breast. Your risk for breast cancer will also be assessed, including a breast examination and a check of your chest wall and underarms. Your neck, shoulders, and upper back may also be evaluated. If you haven’t had a recent mammogram, your clinician may order one, as well as an ultrasound if a lump is found.
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 packetâs 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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When Should I Go To The Doctor For Breast Tenderness
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 !
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Increase Your Bs & Es
Vitamin B supports healthy cell function while Vitamin E helps to protect them from damage by free radicals.
Making sure your diet contains lots of whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, and leafy greens might help you feel better from the inside, while helping tackle other menopausal symptoms like fatigue.
The bonus of these foods is they also contain magnesium which helps with muscle and nerve function and may also ease breast pain in menopause.
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.
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Video: Breast Cancer Screening
This video explains what happens during a mammogram and the benefits of mamography and ultrasound.
It’s your choice whether to have breast screening, but bear in mind that most experts believe it’s beneficial in picking up breast cancer early.
If you’re 71 or over, you’ll stop receiving screening invitations through the post, but you can still carry on with screening if you want to.
Contact your local breast screening unit to arrange an appointment.
Read more about breast cancer screening.
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.
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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:
- 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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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.
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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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What Is Cyclical Breast Pain
The most common type of breast pain is linked to the menstrual cycle. It is nearly always hormonal. Some women begin to have pain around the time of ovulation. The pain continues until the start of their menstrual cycle. The pain may be barely noticeable. Or it may be so severe that you cant wear tight-fitting clothing or handle close contact of any kind. The pain may be felt in only one breast. Or it may be felt as a radiating feeling in the underarm area.
Some healthcare providers have women chart their breast pain to figure out if the pain is cyclical or not. After a few months, the link between the menstrual cycle and breast pain will appear.
Researchers continue to study the role that hormones play in cyclical mastalgia. One study has suggested that some women with this condition have less progesterone than they do estrogen in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Other studies have found that an abnormality in the hormone prolactin may affect breast pain. Hormones can also affect cyclical breast pain due to stress. Breast pain can increase or change its pattern with the hormone changes that happen during times of stress.
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Your Health Questions Answered
- Answered by: Healthily’s medical teamAnswered: 11/10/2021
Getting older and going through the menopause causes many physical changes, and this often includes a decrease in breast size. You might find that your breasts shrink by a cup size. However, they can also get bigger if you put on weight during the menopause, or if youre taking HRT, which can cause breast swelling.
An Introduction To Breast Pain And Menopause
Around 70% of women are said to experience breast pain at some point in their life. This symptom is often associated with PMS but may also be experienced by menopausal women during the stage of peri-menopause when big hormonal changes are starting to take place. Breast pain is described as a feeling of tenderness, swelling and discomfort or heaviness of the breasts.
Two main types of breast pain are experienced at around the time of menopause:
- Cyclical breast pain is associated with the menstrual cycle and tends to come a week or so before the period begins. It is a PMS-type symptom affecting women during the peri-menopause or before periods stop
- Non-cyclical breast pain has no relation to the menstrual cycle but can come at any time. This can occur before, during or after the menopause.
While some women experience breast pain much later in life, in the majority of cases, breast pain settles down shortly after the menopause or when periods stop.
What Causes Sore Breasts In Perimenopause
The causes of breast pain can be either cyclical or non-cyclical. Cyclicalcauses of breast pain are linked to your menstrual cycle. Indeed, there are certain developmental periods in a womans life that can cause breast soreness:
You may notice that as you near your period, your breasts tend to swell. This is due to an increase in the size of milk lobules and ducts, as well as water retention. Prior to menstruation estrogen and progesterone signal your breasts to swell in order to prepare for pregnancy and breastfeeding. The resultant swelling causes pain and tenderness, and you may even find lumps in your breasts that go away when you start your period.
Signs That Warrant Medical Help
Signs that you should seek an immediate medical consultation include:
- severe breast pain for no obvious reason
- persistent or worsening pain, even with self-help measures
- pain that interferes with your quality of life
- suspected problems with your breast implants
Another warning sign is that pain is accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- swelling, redness, or warmth
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Why Do Womens Breasts Get Smaller After Menopause
When estrogen levels drop before, during, and after menopause, the milk systems inside the body shut down and the glandular tissue inside the breasts starts to shrink. In other words, the tissue becomes less dense, more fatty, and starts to sag. All of these involuntary actions tend to change the breast size and shape.
When Do Women Go Through The Third Type Of Menopause
3. Natural Menopause Most women go through the third type of menopausenatural menopause, which occurs gradually, usually between ages 45 and 55, in a woman who has at least one of her ovaries. Many women begin noticing changes in their menstrual cycle and/or mood years before they actually have their final period.
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What Are The Symptoms
Breast soreness related to perimenopause will likely feel different from the soreness you may have felt at other times in your life. Menstrual breast pain usually feels like a dull ache in both breasts. It often occurs right before your period.
Breast pain during perimenopause is more likely to feel like burning or soreness. You may feel it in one breast or both breasts. Not all women experience breast discomfort in the same way. The pain may feel sharp, stabbing, or throbbing.
The same hormones that cause overall breast soreness during perimenopause may also lead to tender or sensitive areas within your breasts. Other signs that youre in perimenopause include:
- hot flashes
- loss of interest in sex, or less pleasure from sex
- trouble sleeping
- mood changes
If you dont think your breast soreness is due to perimenopause, consider a visit to your doctor. You should also consult your doctor if you have additional symptoms, such as:
- clear, yellow, bloody, or pus-like discharge from the nipple
- increase in breast size
- changes in the appearance of the breast
- chest pain
These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition. For example, chest pain could be a sign of a heart condition. Your doctor can help determine if your breast soreness is hormonal or if another condition might be causing your symptoms.
Address The Root Cause
Even with a hormone-friendly diet & lifestyle, there’s no substitute for remedies that are directly targeted at helping your body rebalance your hormones at a particular moment in time.
The best way to do that naturally is with customized herbal remedies. These herbs will take everything you’re doing to care for your hormones and amplify it by 100.
To learn about the power of truly customized herbal remedies that change with your hormones over time take my Free Mini Course – sign up here:
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Why Your Breasts Hurt
A lot our patients ask, “why do my breasts hurt?” Breast pain is familiar to most women up to 70 percent of women experience it at some point. That breast sensitivity just before your period is cyclical mastalgia and is caused by .? You guessed it: hormone fluctuations. Those same shifting hormones can cause the girls to get a bit lumpy and swollen as well, so its good to know whats going on. This is often experienced in relation to pregnancy, as similarly disruptive painful sex is often a postpartum symptom. However, hormone-prompted breast pain can also happen in perimenopause, though in the good-news column, most women dont experience breast pain after menopause is complete, hoorah!
While hormones are a big cause of breast pain, theyre not entirely to blame. We asked Naturopathic Doctor Suzanne McMurry of Naturopathic Cancer Treatment to help us understand what causes breast pain particularly when its not necessarily our cycle anymore and what we can do about it.
What Do You Call Pain In Your Breast After Menopause
Breast Pain Defined. Breast pain, also known as mastalgia, mastodynia, and mammalgia, is mild to intense pain in one or both breasts. While some women experience a general breast tenderness that seems to linger, others can experience extreme pain from the slightest touch. On the other hand, non-cyclic is more common in postmenopausal women as it
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Large Breasts And Support Problems
Large, heavy breasts can stretch ligaments and tissues, which can sometimes cause breast pain and tenderness. That can also cause pain in your shoulders, back, and neck. You might notice that the pain is worse when youre physically active.
A bra that doesnt provide enough support can also cause or aggravate these symptoms.
What Is Noncyclic Breast Pain
Noncyclic breast pain is fairly uncommon, feels different than cyclical mastalgia, and does not vary with the menstrual cycle. Generally, the pain is present all the time and is in only 1 specific location.
One cause of noncyclic breast pain is trauma, or a blow to the breast. Other causes can include arthritic pain in the chest cavity and in the neck, which radiates down to the breast.
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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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What Causes Breast Soreness
Changing levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are the usual cause of breast pain during perimenopause and menopause. As you enter perimenopause, estrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall in unpredictable patterns before starting to taper off. The spikes in hormone levels can affect breast tissue, making your breasts hurt.
Breast soreness should improve once your periods stop and your body no longer produces estrogen. If you take hormone therapy to treat menopause symptoms, you may continue to have sore breasts.
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, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor , diuretics, digitalis preparations, methyldopa or spironolactone
- experience a breast infection
- have cysts in your breasts
- have a fibroadenoma or a noncancerous lump in the breast
- wear a poorly fitting bra, especially one with an underwire
- gain weight or have large breasts
Though rare, breast cancer can cause breast soreness. Most breast pain isnt due to cancer. However, finding a lump in your breast that is accompanied by pain is stressful and causes worry. So see your doctor to find out the next steps of evaluation. There are noncancerous conditions that can cause breast lumps and soreness. Your doctor can order tests to find out whats causing the problem.