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Is Sore Breasts A Symptom Of Menopause

What About Conventional Medicine

Breast Soreness in Perimenopause

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.

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 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.

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Why Do Womens Breasts Get Bigger With Age

Many women find that their breasts look smaller as they get older gravity and loss of skin elasticity are mostly to blame here, and theres also a genetic factor.


But, if youre finding the opposite, thats also completely normal.

The main reasons why womens breasts get bigger as they get older are:

  • Weight gain or weight redistribution
  • Fluctuating hormone levels due to menopause.

You Cant Touch That Tender Breasts During Perimenopause And Menopause

The Early Signs of 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, âtendernessâ is a gross and I mean gross!) understatement.

Itâs ironic, isnât it? From our âtenderâ preteen days, most of us couldnât wait until that first sign of womanhood. We couldnât wait to buy â and wear â our first training bra.

Of course, youâve got to be careful what you wish for. My daughter, Sarah, was a late bloomer and prayed for boobs. They didnât appear on the scene until she was about 18 or so. Fast forward 16 years, Sarah now writes a wonderful blog called, smilescurlsandbabyâ 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-Thangâ¦.Babyâ¦.! 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. âMy breasts are off-limits to my husband when Iâm mid-cycleâ said one perimenopausal friend. âHe canât even look at them without getting the âevil eyeâ from me! My breasts are so painful that sometimes I canât even bear to have the shower head pointed toward them.â

A Different Kind of Fluid Retention

The Shape of Things to Come

The Progesterone Approach

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Causes Of Post Menopausal Breast Tenderness

The primary reason for breast tenderness is often fluctuations in the hormonal levels in the body. Entering nters the post menopausal stage, there is less production of hormones, estrogen and progesterone. At times it may drop down below normal warranting hormonal replacement therapy, to bring back the levels to normal. The body requires time to get used to these synthetic hormones and which can result in swelling of the breasts, followed by a feeling of tenderness or soreness. This condition is referred to as mastalgia and can last up to a couple of years.

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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.

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Causes Of Breast Pain

In cyclical breast pain, both breasts tend to be tender, as the root cause of pain is hormonal. Some women find that breast soreness worsens in perimenopause. The cause of this occurrence is due to erratic hormone surges and drops as you progress towards menopause. Interestingly, there have been no studies confirming that hormonal abnormalities cause cyclical breast pain. Indeed, the breast pain women experience before a period, or even in perimenopause and menopause, is linked to expected hormonal fluctuations.

Non-cyclical causes of breast pain are not directly related to your menstrual period. Therefore, the root cause of this type of breast pain does not follow a predictable pattern. Furthermore, the source of non-cyclical pain is usually related to a specific problem. The following is a list of non-cyclical causes of breast pain.

Related: Why Do I Have Sore Nipples?

Breast Changes During Menopause Are Normal

Sore Breasts Menopause / Menopause Sore Breasts

Though breast changes might have an impact on your self-esteem, rest assured that it is normal. Almost all menopausal women will notice some breast changes from menopause when they look in the mirror.

The greater cause for concern is the increased risk of cysts, fibroids, and other abnormal growths in the breast tissue. Women can develop abnormal growths at any age, but menopausal women are certainly in a higher risk category. But if you notice a breast lump, dont wait to be offered to screen see your health care provider rule out breast cancer. Breast cancer is most common in women over 50.

You may feel discomfort in one breast or both breasts. Not all women experience breast discomfort in the same way. Breast pain in the postmenopausal years may be coming from the chest wall, arthritis of the spine, or, only rarely, from cancer.

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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.

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.


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 .

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Breast Soreness And Cancer

For many women, the biggest concern about breast soreness is that it is a sign of cancer however, breast soreness is not often associated with cancer and it does not put you at any increased risk of breast cancer.

You should follow the recommendations for screening for breast cancer for women of your age and family history.

How Do I Treat Menopause Breast Pain At Home

Pin on Menopause Must

‘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.’

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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.

Sore Breasts And Menopause: Everything You Need To Know

Lots of women experience this menopause symptom, we asked a GP why

Menopause and perimenopause symptoms differ from woman to woman, but there are some that are more common than others.

Lots of us know about hot flushes and brain fog. When it comes to sore breasts and menopause though, we’re less clued up and often end up Googling in search of more information.

So, we asked Dr Cat Hyatt, a GP based in Dorset, to explain the facts around breast pain and menopause.

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The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause

The average age of menopause is 51. Menopause refers to a period in a womans life when she stops having a menstrual period. Many people think that a woman stops having her period overnight when in reality, menopause is a process that can last for years.

The period leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause. Most women begin perimenopause in their 40s. Some women may experience so few symptoms that they do not realize they have entered perimenopause . However, for others, symptoms can be severe and life-altering.

There are a total of 34 symptoms that can signify the arrival of menopause, which range from mild to disabling in nature.

How To Ease Breast Pain During Menopause

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.

Eileen Durward

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I’m going to be discussing how to ease breast pain.

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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

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.

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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.

If Your Breasts Are So Sore That Theyre Making You Miserable You Can Also:

Are you having premenopause symptoms?
  • Use progesterone cream or capsules to help balance oestrogen and improve symptoms. Progesterone cream is available over-the-counter, but capsules require a prescription. Progesterone also helps with bloating and many of the mood-related symptoms of perimenopause.
  • Eating more fibre helps lower oestrogen levels, which will improve the oestrogen/progesterone balance. Aim for 35-45 gm/day. Increase this gradually or your GI system will let you know its unhappy!
  • Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and folic acid levels need to be at optimal levels. Magnesium, along with vitamin B6, is particularly effective in reducing breast soreness and pain, in addition to helping with insomnia, tension headaches, anxiety, depression, cravings, and water retention.

General Wellbeing

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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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