What Can I Do To Help
Firstly. Its so important to make lifestyle changes when it comes to any of the peri/menopausal signs. We cant stress that enough. Things such as keeping hydrated, avoiding caffeine , alcohol and smoking, embracing nutrient dense foods and avoiding processed foods and refined white sugar and flour are crucial.
It may sound a bit broken record-y but one of the reasons we experience mild or severe signs of peri/menopause is our level of nutritional wealth as well as our level of stress as stress causes estrogen levels to fluctuate more.
6 Things You Can Do Now
Disclaimer: This article should never take the place of medical advice. If you are at all concerned about breast pain and/or other issues such as breast lumps, swelling or dimpling, changes in the size or shape of your breasts, nipple discharge, or chest pain please see your GP.
Is It Normal For Your Breast To Be Sore Before Your Period
Breast soreness, swelling, nipple pain and breast lumpiness can usually occur anywhere from right after ovulation to just before your period begins. But most women experience it between 7 and 14 days before their period starts. Unfortunately, these symptoms are generally considered by the mainstream medical community to be normal.
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.
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General Recommendations For Ht
Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:
- HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
- HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
- Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
- Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a womans specific health profile.
- HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.
Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.
Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:
How To Relieve Breast Pains
Finding relief for breast pain during perimenopause begins with identifying what is causing your sore breasts. For starters, the type of pain you have may shift from the tenderness of your monthly menstrual cycle to more of a burning sensation or even a sharp, stabbing pain in one or both breasts.
breast pain is tied to your hormones and menstrual cycle
It is important to discover the underlying causes of your pain as best you can, since some of the symptoms you experience may be directly linked to HRT , bra and clothing choices, dietary choices and also breast cancer.
As Healthline explains, breast pain can be cyclical or non cyclical. When in doubt, it is always a wise idea to talk with your doctor and work together to eliminate possible causes until you feel certain you understand what is causing your personal breast pain, soreness or tenderness.
Then you can confidently begin to work towards relieving your discomfort.
Happily, you have lots of options today for alleviating breast soreness and pain. You may want to start with the most conservative treatments, including changing your lingerie or wearing loose-fitting clothing.
Appropriate strengthening exercises for your chest muscles can also help to ease fluid retention and build muscle tone in your breasts following shrinkage of the milk-producing glandular network.
HRT is sometimes prescribed to ease breast soreness, but it can also cause breast soreness, so you may need to experiment to see what works best for you.
Soothe The Pain With Heat
So how do you sort this one out? One of the nice things to help, if its really getting uncomfortable and its 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 dont 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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When To Speak To Your Doctor
When do you see your doctor with this one? We need to be very careful with our breasts and look after them really well in the peri-menopause, the menopause, and beyond. So any situation that is worrying you about your breasts, please see your doctor.
If you find that youve tried these self-help remedies and nothing is working then just double-check with your doctor, especially if you find that youre getting some lumps and bumps! Most of us do I had a few lumps, and the consultant very kindly said, Youve just got lumpy breasts. So very often, theres nothing here to worry about, but please get this checked out as soon as you can and especially if youre getting any nipple discharge as well or your nipples are very, very uncomfortable.
Theres lots of websites around on how to check your breasts on a regular basis. And I would recommend that all of you out there follow one of those as well, just to keep an eye on your breasts going through the menopause.
I hope youve found this helpful. Its a big subject, and a lot of women find that they get this particular problem, sometimes on and off. Very rarely will you get it for the whole of the menopause, but it is something that most women will certainly experience at some point.
I will see you next week on another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.
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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.
Home Remedies To Alleviate Symptoms
Self care is extremely important when it comes to breast pain and tenderness. If you dont seek out the care that you need, the painful symptoms can quite literally ruin your day.
To prevent horrible breast changes, or at the least alleviate some of the pain, try implementing some suggestions that Ive come across over the past several years.
Dont smoke cigarettes, and if you do, quit as soon as you can. Not smoking will promote good skin and good tissue health.
Fluid naturally builds up in the breasts during perimenopause and menopause. Once the period completely stops, the breast pain should subside.
Some women have a tendency to ask the question, Can HRT cause sore nipples? The answer to that is yes if youre going through hormone replacement therapy, additional unwanted signs and symptoms may arise.
Talk to your doctor about options other than hormone therapy if your breasts start to become more of a problem than the menopause itself.
Additionally, suggestions that helped me were to limit my salt intake and drink more water on the daily. Think about it this way: dehydration leads to fluid retention, which can potentially worsen breast pain.
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What Are The Treatments For Cyclical Breast Pain
Treatment for cyclical breast pain will depend on your symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatments vary greatly and may include the following:
Not having caffeine
Tamoxifen, an estrogen blocker
Supplemental hormones and hormone blockers may have side effects. In addition, the risks and benefits of such treatment should be carefully discussed with your healthcare provider.
Infection Of The Breast
Mastitis most commonly affects women who are breastfeeding but it can happen at other points in life.
** If the skin on breast or nipple becomes chaffed or irritated, it can allow bacteria to enter the breast and spread infection.
Mastitis symptoms include redness, swelling, tenderness and possibly fever. This condition is typically treated with normal antibiotics.
- A breast infection, also called mastitis, can a cause severe pain, according to Harvard Medical School 1.
- Mastitis most commonly affects women who are breastfeeding but it can happen at other points in life.
Why Do I Have Sore Nipples
It is not a clean, easy split when we say goodbye to our ovarian function. Most of us struggle physically, mentally, and emotionally in the years before we can officially say the final goodbye to our menstrual period. And, this separation is often met with a slew of emotions. Some women are thrilled to see their monthly cycles cease, whereas others may feel sad or even mourn this season of life. And like most goodbyes, it is sometimes even painful. Many women struggle with physical pains in menopause, and that pain can afflict your joints, head, breasts, and nipples. This article is for all of you wonderful women who struggle with sore nipples in menopause.
Home Remedies For Sore Nipples
Sore nipples are very common, especially if youre ovulating or breastfeeding. However, just as with most reproductive health issues, many women feel bashful about discussing them openly.
What you need to know, however, is that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Nipples are highly sensitive areas, and as such, are easily irritated.
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How Do I Treat Menopause Breast Pain At Home
‘Getting a supportive, well fitting bra can sometimes be the first step in combatting breast pain . Simple treatments like taking over the counter medications like paracetamol or ibuprofen or topical anti-inflammatory gels which are available in most pharmacies to rub into the breasts directly can also really help.’
Sore Breasts In Perimenopause
You may find that you have breast soreness that is different or new to you as you enter perimenopause. Some women who had breast pain during the menstrual cycles find that the pain goes away with menopause. However, other women find that it gets worse in perimenopause. Breast soreness is one of the 34 symptoms of perimenopause. And while it is an expected symptom, it is an absolute pain .
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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
Treatment And Home Remedies
Breast pain and discomfort should go away once menopause starts and estrogen levels drop. However, it can cause significant discomfort during perimenopause.
People can take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen to treat sore breasts.
Making lifestyle changes can also help to relieve the discomfort that sore breasts can cause.
It may help to reduce salt consumption and drink more water, as mild dehydration causes fluid retention, which may worsen breast pain.
Avoiding caffeine can also help to reduce tenderness. Some people believe that maintaining a diet low in saturated fat may relieve breast pain too, as this can reduce estrogen levels.
Other remedies and lifestyle changes that may help sore breasts include:
- wearing supportive bras that fit comfortably
- exercising regularly
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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
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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?
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 .
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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Diet Lifestyle And Home Remedies For Breast Pain
There are certain measures which can help relieve the worrying symptoms of breast pain. It is worth putting some effort into easing the symptom, as this will aid your morale, general health and comfort.
- Smoking can have an adverse effect on your body at the best of times, not least during the menopause. Smoking can prevent the body from adapting to the hormonal changes experienced during the menopause. It also increases the likelihood of breast cancer
- Diet is important. Food with plenty of vitamins keeps the body healthy, and vitamins B and E particularly can help ease breast pain. Making sure you have enough fibre in your diet will help your body balance out oestrogen levels
- Consuming stimulants such as caffeine can have an unwanted effect on breasts. This is because these dilate the blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the breasts, leading to swelling and pain
- Make sure that your bras fit correctly as an ill-fitting one can lead to pain or even breast tissue damage. It is important to get measured regularly as your breast size and shape can change quickly.