Ht Forms And Regimens
HT comes in several forms:
- Oral tablets or pills
- Vaginal ring
- Topical gel or spray
HT pills and skin patches are considered “systemic” therapy because the medication delivered affects the entire body. The risk for blood clots, heart attacks, and certain types of cancers is higher with hormone pills than with skin patches or other transdermal forms.
Vaginal forms of HT are called “local” therapy. Doctors generally prescribe vaginal applications of low-dose estrogen therapy to specifically treat menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This type of ET is available in a cream, tablet, or ring that is inserted into the vagina.
“Bioidentical” hormone therapy is promoted as a supposedly more natural and safer alternative to commercial prescription hormones. Bioidentical hormones are typically compounded in a pharmacy. Some compounding pharmacies claim that they can customize these formulations based on saliva tests that show a woman’s individual hormone levels.
The FDA and many professional medical associations warn patients that “bioidentical” is a marketing term that has no scientific validity. Formulations sold in these pharmacies have not undergone FDA regulatory scrutiny. Some of these compounds contain estriol, a weak form of estrogen, which has not been approved by the FDA for use in any drug. In addition, saliva tests do not give accurate or realistic results, as a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day.
Breast Pain During Menopause: Should You Worry
Breast pain during menopause is one of the less well-known menopause symptoms. This is because many women also experience sore breasts during premenopause when they still have regular menstrual cycles.
But as Medical News Today points out, sore breasts during the menstrual years and breast pain during menopause can arise for different reasons.
In this article, we take a look at what causes sore breasts during menopause.
breast pain is linked to changing hormone levels in a womans body
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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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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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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Breast Changes During Menopause
By the time a person with a uterus and ovaries reaches their late 40s to early 50s, perimenopause has likely started. Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading up to menopause, the time when monthly periods have stopped for 12 months. During perimenopause, a person often starts noticing some changes in their breasts.
During perimenopause, breast changes often occur cyclically due to fluctuating hormonal levels. These breast symptoms start when the monthly cycle begins and then subside a few days later. When menopause occurs, hormonal levels continue to decrease, causing more changes in the breasts. These changes include:
- A lower density of breast tissue
- Increased fat tissue in the breasts
- Shrinking and sagging breasts
- Breast or nipple itching
What To Know About Menopause And Sore Breasts
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Before and during menopause, it is common for people to experience pain or tenderness in their breasts. Although breasts can often become sore due to menstruation, menopausal breast pain may result from different causes.
This article will discuss the causes of sore breasts during menopause and explain some home remedies that may provide relief.
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Joint Pain And Muscle Tension
Oestrogen and progesterone level fluctuations can be responsible for the aches and pains women feel as they transition through the menopause. There are oestrogen and progesterone receptors all over our bodies including joints, and as oestrogen and progesterone levels fall, this can cause joint inflammation.
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.
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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.’
What Is The Best Natural Remedy For Menopause
There are several natural remedies that some women use for combating specific symptoms menopause brings. Always let your doctor know if you are taking any, because they can affect more traditional medicines.
Black cohosh, flax seeds, soy, vitamin E, exercising, yoga and meditation have been adopted by many women to lessen menopause symptoms.
However, each remedy aims at relieving a particular symptom. Flax seed, for example, is a useful remedy for hot flushes, while vitamin E relieves vaginal dryness.
A lot of women use black cohosh. It aims at relieving hot flushes and night sweats of menopause. Black cohosh is a herb, and its dietary supplements are from a powder of its roots.
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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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Whats The Best Way To Treat Menopause Breast Pain
The best way to treat breast pain in menopause varies from person to person. First of all, if you have doubts about the type of pain you are experiencing, I would book in with your GP who can take a full history and examination and refer you onto a specialist as required.
It is so important to know whats normal for you, which will be helped by regular self- examination. Read Reds guide here. This helps you know when to manage symptoms at home and when to ask for help.
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Why Do My Breasts Hurt After Menopause
Interestingly, some medications used in the treatment of menopause including HRT, contraceptive pills and even some anti-depressants can contribute to breast tenderness as well.
It is always important to speak to your doctor before stopping any medications, but it can be helpful to know this could be something to explore with your GP if you are continuing to experience breast pain in menopause. As with anything, if you are struggling to control the pain or you have any other symptoms you are concerned about you should always book in to see your GP who will be happy to look into this further with you.
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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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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 woman’s 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 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.
Calcium And Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the bone loss associated with menopause. The best sources are from calcium-rich and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Doctors are currently reconsidering the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that healthy postmenopausal women don’t need to take these supplements. According to the USPSTF, taking daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D supplements , with or without calcium supplements , does not prevent fractures. For higher doses, the USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation. In addition to possible lack of benefit, these supplements are associated with certain risks, like kidney stones.
However, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. Supplements may be appropriate for certain people including those who do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure and those who do not consume enough calcium in their diet. They are also helpful for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you should take supplements.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones.
How Do I Know If My Breast Pain Is A Sign Of Menopause
Breast pain is one of the most common symptoms of menopause, and there are a number of reasons for this – hormonal imbalances, medications, and lifestyle. Although breast pain can affect women of any age, it is particularly prevalent in those who are going through menopause. The problem is, many women who experience breast pain are unsure if their pain is related to menopause or whether it is due to something else. Keep reading to find out how to know if breast pain is a sign of menopause.
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Breast Pain Is A Common Sign That Can Develop During Menopause
While breast discomfort during menopause is not usually cause for alarm, it is always a good idea to double check.
Though breast pain is rarely a sign of cancer, speaking with a health professional and ruling out breast cancer can be a great help to put you at ease and to discuss how to manage this sign of menopause.
Managing Breast Pain After Menopause
Managing postmenopausal breast pain consists of:
- Wearing a well-fitted, supportive bra when exercising or sleeping
- Avoiding excessive consumption of caffeine
- Consuming a low-fat diet, of which only 15 to 20 percent of daily calories comes from fat
- Applying ice packs or warm compresses
- Performing self-massages
- Partaking in relaxation and complementary therapies, such as acupuncture or aromatherapy
Digestive Problems And Bloating
Low oestrogen levels can result in less fluctuating cortisol levels which increases blood sugars and slows down digestion. As oestrogen plays a role in the function of the gastrointestinal system, low levels can cause bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, stomach cramps along with nausea, flatulence, constipation, and diarrhoea.
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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.
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What Causes Sore Breasts During Menopause
A person reaches menopause after 12 months without having a period. This stage follows a transitional period called perimenopause, where estrogen and progesterone levels in the body fluctuate unpredictably. These hormonal fluctuations commonly cause breast pain.
Sore breasts, also known as mastalgia, are also very common during menstruation. This is because hormonal changes cause fluid to build up in the breasts, making them feel swollen and tender.
During perimenopause, the hormonal fluctuations are more dramatic. It is also common for breasts to get bigger or smaller or to change in shape during this period.
Breast pain around menopause may also feel different. Instead of a dull ache, people may experience burning or throbbing pain.
Breast pain should go away after a person completely stops having periods and enters menopause. However, having hormone therapy during menopause can increase the risk of continued breast pain.
Experiencing breast pain after menopause is less common, and people should not assume that it is due to hormonal changes.