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Why Do My Breasts Hurt In Menopause

Which Caffeine Products Affect Cyclical Breast Pain

How to ease breast pain during menopause

Everyone knows that a cup of coffee or a can of soda contains caffeine, but there are other products that you could be consuming that contain enough caffeine to have an impact on breast pain. Excedrin-brand painkiller, for instance, contains the same caffeine as that cup you had this morning. This caffeine kick is actually what in part gives it its painkilling ability. Caffeine is also present in some candies, chocolates, and energy drinks.

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

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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Treating Breast Pain After Menopause

Treating postmenopausal breast pain depends upon a woman’s age, symptoms, and general health. Determining the underlying cause is imperative to treatment effectiveness.

Alongside breast pain treatments that focus on natural and effective lifestyle changes – optimized diet, wholesome habits, etc. – there are a couple more options women may pursue for relief:

Large Breasts And Support Problems

Why Do My Breasts Hurt?

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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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’s 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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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 Happens To Your Breasts During Menopause

Do women’s breasts keep changing?| Explains Dr. Nina Mansukhani

As you enter perimenopause, your levels of oestrogen and progesterone rise and fall unevenly before eventually declining. Its thought that the hormonal spikes you experience throughout perimenopause may impact your breast tissues and result in noncyclical breast pain and soreness. Noncyclical breast pain refers to pain that does not vary in line with your menstrual cycle.Of course, you may also continue to experience cyclical breast pain just before your period during perimenopause.You officially reach menopause when you havent had a menstrual bleed for 12 consecutive months. At this stage, the hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause have settled however, your ovaries will continue to produce negligible amounts of oestrogen and breast discomfort should improve.

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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.

Abscesses Or Inflammation In The Breast

Inflammation or an abscess in the breast can sometimes affect women who are breastfeeding and this can cause the breasts to swell even more and become tender.

Dr. Hayley Willacy on Patient.info says that the inflammation can occur when milk accumulates in the milk ducts and causes the breasts to become larger. If bacteria start to grow in the accumulated milk this can cause an infection to develop and this cause pain and tenderness in the affected breast.7 If left untreated, the inflammation can develop into an abscess.

If you experience pain and tenderness in your breasts while breastfeeding, its important to speak with your healthcare practitioner who can carry out an examination and check your milk for the presence of bacteria.

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When To See A Doctor About Sore Breasts

Most breast pain or soreness isnt anything serious, and can usually be treated at home or with medicines prescribed by your doctor.

However, there are some warning signs to look out for. Rarely, pain in your breast can be a sign of a heart attack. Call an ambulance if you have breast pain and any of the following:

  • chest pain a tightness, squeezing, or feeling of pressure in the middle of your chest
  • pain in other parts of your body it can feel like pain is moving from your chest to your arms, neck, jaw, back and tummy
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • an overwhelming feeling of anxiety similar to a panic attack

You should see a doctor about breast pain if:

  • it doesnt get better, or painkillers dont help
  • you have a high temperature, or you feel hot or shivery
  • your breast is red, swollen or hot
  • you have a lump on your breast that is very painful
  • you have a hard lump on your breast that doesnt move
  • you have a lump in your armpit
  • one or both of your breasts change shape
  • you have nipple discharge, especially if its bloody
  • you have a rash or changes to the skin on your breast or around your nipple
  • your nipple has sunk into your breast
  • theres a history of breast or ovarian cancer in your family

What Does Breast Pain Feel Like

Top Questions of the Week: Breast Cancer, Coronary Artery ...

Breast pain can feel different from woman to woman. And you wont always necessarily experience the same type of pain. It can vary in type and intensity. Either way it can be extremely unpleasant.

For example you can feel:

  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Stabbing pains

You can get more than one type of pain at the same time or find that the type of pain changes between each episode. Episodes of breast pain can be short or prolonged. Were all different so your experience is unlikely to be the same as mine, or any other womans for that matter, but its just as valid.

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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 !

Resources:

When Should You Seek Medical Attention For Swollen Breasts

When swelling persists out of sync with your period or is accompanied by a fever, pus, or redness, you should see a physician. Swelling of both breasts is less worrisome than swelling of one breast. If you have other symptoms like a prolonged cough, fever, or chills, you should seek medical attention. If you have a diffuse rash or bleeding from the nipple you should also seek medical attention.

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I Am 52 Years Old And Have Not Had A Period For Three Months Now My Breasts Hurt So Bad I Can Hardly Sleep On Them They’re Sore And Tender All The Time In The Past They Have Been Sore Right Before My Period For A Couple Days But Never For This Long Do I Need To Worry About Anything Or Is This Probably Menopause Setting In

This article has been archived. We will no longer be updating it. For our most up-to-date information, please visit our menopause hub here.

Q:

I am 52 years old and have not had a period for three months. Now, my breasts hurt so bad I can hardly sleep on them. They’re sore and tender all the time. In the past, they have been sore right before my period for a couple days, but never for this long. Do I need to worry about anything, or is this probably menopause setting in?

A:

You’re right to consider that menopause is setting in. Only it’s important to get the language right “menopause” per se is really only one day in a woman’s life: the day at which she reaches 12 consecutive months without a period. You’re currently in the perimenopausal stage, which may last anywhere from a few months to several years.

Changes in your menstrual cycle are a key marker of perimenopause. They often come more frequently than the typical 28 days, you may skip cycles, your menstrual flow may be lighter, heavier or spottier than normal. You may also find your period lasts longer – or for just a couple of days. In other words, all bets are off in terms of predicting the timing, duration and severity of your menstrual cycle once you reach perimenopause.

Having said that, it is quite likely that you are approaching the actual menopause. The average age of menopause in this country is 51.4 years, but normal menopause it can occur any time between age 40 and age 58.

An Introduction To Breast Pain And Menopause

Breast Screening And How To Check Your Own Breasts In 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.

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Breast Changes During Menopause Are Normal

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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When To Seek Advice From Your Doctor

Because cystic or lumpy breasts can mimic breast cancer, if you detect any new lumps or bumps, your breasts appear to change in color, size or shape, you notice nipple discharge or your pain becomes severe, it is vital to talk with your doctor without delay.

Menopause symptoms are different for each woman and yours will be unique to your lifestyle, choices, genetic makeup and family history

As well, if the remedies you are trying are not providing you with the hoped-for results, this indicates it is time to revisit your treatment approach with your doctor.

Menopause symptoms are different for each woman and yours will be unique to your lifestyle, choices, genetic makeup and family history. Remember that no one else knows your own body better than you do.

In this process, it is important to talk with female family members and learn what worked for them in addressing sore breasts. But what matters most is to keep trying different strategies until you discover what works best for you.

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Breast Pain Menopause Treatment

Breast pain can have a serious impact on the sufferer√Ęs day-to-day life.

Luckily, there are a range of available remedies which can help address menopausal breast pain. Over-the-counter pain medications such as Panadol can relieve pain or discomfort, while other options are designed to treat hormonal causes, such as hormone replacement therapy . HRT will require consultation with a doctor to determine the best option for you and a prescription for the treatment.

Other remedies for breast pain include changing dietary and lifestyle habits to reduce the likelihood of breast tenderness and minimise symptoms. Other methods of addressing menopausal breast pain include:

The Different Types of Breast Pain

Cyclical

Non-Cyclical

Extramammary

Costochondritis

When To See A Doctor

Pregnancy Symptoms Complaints Breast Pain

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

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