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Why Are Breasts Tender After Menopause

Sore Breasts During Menopause

Breast Soreness in Perimenopause

Your breasts get sore during menopause for the same reason that they may have been sore before your period or in early pregnancy.

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As your hormone levels go up, fluid can build up in your breast tissue. And because your hormone levels get a little spiky during perimenopause, this pain can strike at unpredictable times.

Its also important to remember that its not just your breasts themselves that can be painful. Larger breasts mean that youre more likely to suffer from back pain too.

What can you do about sore breasts during menopause?

Here are some tips to help with sore breasts :

  • Wear a properly fitted bra
  • Massage your breasts when they feel achy
  • Use a warm compress to ease the pain
  • Cut down on caffeine to generally improve your menopause symptoms, including breast tenderness

When To Worry About Painful Breasts After Hysterectomy And Consult A Doctor

Actually, breast pain is most often not a sign of breast cancer but a harmless condition. In case the pain lasts longer than a few months or gets worse it could indicate a more serious health problem and require medical attention.

In other words, it is important that you are aware of any changes and to recognize possible symptoms of breast cancer. Be watchful for the following symptoms and have them checked by a health care professional.

  • New lumps
  • Itchiness, redness, or a rash
  • Nipple changes
  • Skin looks like orange peel

If your health care provider does find something suspicious during a breast examination, he/she will, in all likelihood, send you for a mammogram and ultrasound.

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:

  • lumps
  • 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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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.

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Why Do My Breasts Hurt When I Go To The Bathroom

Missed Periods and Tender Breasts while not Pregnant

These fluctuations can also cause changes in the consistency of your breasts. Your breasts may start to feel denser or rougher to the touch, particularly on their outer portions. Hormonal fluctuations can also lead to abdominal discomfort and pain. Here are nine possible causes of abdominal pain and breast tenderness.

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Change In Breast Size And Shape

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. The breasts will shrink a bit, encouraging you to purchase a new set of bras.

And, the breasts will change shape and need a little less push up support and a little more cushion support.

What we have to do as women going through this is: be aware, purchase new bras, and last but not least, exercise.

To keep some of the breast size and shape that we had before menopause started, we must keep our bodies and muscles in shape.

If youre wondering how to increase breast size, we can start by heading on over to the gym to do some weight lifting. Weight lifting exercises will tone underneath the muscles, perking the breasts up, instead of allowing them to fall.

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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When Should I Be Concerned About Breast Pain

If you experience breast pain along with any of the following symptoms, you should contact your GP as soon as possible :

  • A new lump with the onset of pain a lump that doesnt go away after menstruation

  • Signs of breast infection, such as localised redness, pus, or fever

  • Clear or bloody discharge from your nipple

  • Persistent, unexplained breast pain

  • Noticeable changes in the shape and size of breasts, especially on one side

What Happens To Your Breasts During Menopause

5 other breast changes during menopause

As you get older, its natural for your breasts to change shape and size and become less firm. You might also find that you get sore or painful breasts, due to the hormonal changes that happen during the menopause .

Lets look at what causes breast pain during the menopause, when to see a doctor, and what treatments are available to help you feel more comfortable.

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When To See A Healthcare Provider

Its important to see your healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider can help determine if your breast soreness is hormonal or if another condition might be causing your symptoms.

Whats The Connection Between Caffeine And Breast Pain

Caffeine is derived from a chemical substance called methylxanthine, which causes blood vessels to become wider. When these pathways expand, although the effect may be minimal, it can cause an uncomfortable sensation.

Additionally, caffeine has been cited for increasing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body. This increased presence of cortisol may interact with other female hormones especially when you are experiencing premenstrual syndrome and cause tender breasts.

Various studies have yielded differing opinions on the link between caffeine and breast pain. While some doctors conclude that there is no link, others say that the effect of caffeine on breast pain differs from woman to woman. Some women, for example, may experience less breast pain when they stop consuming caffeine, whereas for others, eschewing the drug may actually cause breast pain. Ultimately, each woman has to determine what effect caffeine has on her body independently.

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Tenderness Or Pain In The Breasts

A woman currently on her period can experience fluid build up in the breasts. This build up can also happen just before a period takes effect. The result is that the breasts can become swollen, tender, and sometimes even painful.

As time goes on, women age and start to go through perimenopause . The hormonal changes that accompany perimenopause are always different, and can always affect the breasts differently.

In turn, this can mean that the swelling, tenderness, and pain can still stick around during and after perimenopause. In fact, sometimes random spells of swelling, tenderness, and pain may start to kick in due to lack of a period and an increase in hormonal imbalances.

The best suggestion to keep handy would be to wear a fitted sports bra when such symptoms start to occur. Keep one on you, in your purse or in your car, just in case the tenderness or pain becomes close to unbearable.

It may also help to massage the breasts when they start to exhibit such signs and symptoms. Dont go too rough, though. Small, steady circles will ease the discomfort youre feeling the best.

And as always, pair these two suggestions with over-the-counter pain medications and pain creams to maximize your self care.

Dont forget, sore breasts after menopause is not entirely uncommon.

Sore Breasts And Menopause

Sore Breasts and Menopause: Know the Facts

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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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.

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.

Q:

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?

A:

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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Treatment For Breast Tenderness In Menopause

A healthy nutrition and change in lifestyle practices can help in regulating the hormonal imbalance and also in preventing symptoms of menopause including breast tenderness. Here are a few dietary tips,

  • Ensure that you consume a healthy diet. Avoid processed foods, salts, high fat contents. Instead increase the intake of dietary fiber , fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc
  • Increase the intake of foods that contain phyto-estrogens.Phyto-estrogens are estrogen like hormones found in plants, which help in complementing the bodys requirement for the estrogen hormone. Soy is a great source of phyto-estrogen and should be included in your diet
  • Regular physical activity and regular exercises helps to neutralize the hormonal imbalance created due to changing reproductive cycle. An exercise for about twenty minutes about thrice a week is adequate for maintaining good health.
  • Homeopathic drugs namely Pulsatilla and Sepia taken in low potency, repeated four times during the day is considered beneficial. These drugs not only relieve breast tenderness but also alleviate other symptoms associated with menopause

Life style modification and dietary changes play a crucial role in effectively managing breast tenderness, especially in women approaching their menopause. Incorporation of these life style changes is very beneficial in management of a wide range of other menopausal symptoms

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What You Can Do

How to ease breast pain during menopause

The initial evaluation of your breast pain focuses on your medical history. Your doctor will ask about the location of your breast pain, its relation to your menstrual cycle and other relevant aspects of your medical history that might explain the cause of your pain. To prepare for this discussion:

  • Keep a journal, noting when you experience breast pain and other symptoms, to determine whether your pain is cyclic or noncyclic.
  • Take note of all your symptoms, even if they seem unrelated to your breast pain.
  • Rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain imaginable.
  • Review key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
  • List all the medications, vitamins and supplements that you regularly take.
  • List questions to ask your doctor, from most important to least important.

For breast pain, basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What kinds of tests might I need?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend for my condition?
  • Are there any home remedies I might try?

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When To Check With Your Doctor

Most midlife breast changes are normal. But you canât be sure on your own. Talk to your doctor if you notice any of these problems:

  • A lump or a firm or thick area in your breast or under your arm.
  • Nipple discharge fluid or changes, such as a nipple that becomes sunken into the breast, also called “inverted.”
  • Skin changes, such as redness, dimpling, puckering, or ridges that look like orange peel.
  • Unexplained swelling or shrinkage of the breast, especially on one side only.

Most of the time, breast changes are not cancer, but itâs important to get any new or unusual symptom checked out quickly.

Also talk to your doctor about how often you should get mammograms, since guidelines vary. The American Cancer Society recommends one every year, starting when youâre 45. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends offering average-risk patients mammograms beginning at age 40. Other groups advise every 2 years when you turn 50 until youâre 74.

You may need to start sooner if youâre at high risk.

Your doctor can help you decide whatâs best for you.

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What To Look For

If you noticed scaliness or redness on your nipple, or either of those conditions on the skin of your breast, this is not a good sign. If you discover a knot or lump anywhere in your breast or armpit, see a doctor immediately. If a lump or any thickening of the breast or nipple doesnt resolve after a menstrual period, which peri-menopausal women still have, this needs to be addressed as well. Breast puckering, dimpling or the appearance of indentations is an indicator of breast cancer.

  • If you noticed scaliness or redness on your nipple, or either of those conditions on the skin of your breast, this is not a good sign.

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Causes Of Breast Tenderness

Hormonal change is the most common cause of cyclical breast tenderness during menopause. During the menopause transition, levels of estrogen and progesterone become irregular. Spikes and dips in these hormone levels can lead some women to experience breast tenderness.

Rare Causes of Breast Tenderness

  • Breast cancer

Top Causes Of Breast Pain During Menopause

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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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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.

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