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Why Do Women’s Breasts Get Bigger After Menopause

You Cant Touch That Tender Breasts During Perimenopause And Menopause

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

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!

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. 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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They May Develop Lumps

As you age, its possible that you will develop abnormal growths in your breasts. They are often harmless, such as cysts, but they might also be a sign of something more serious, such as breast cancer.

Especially around the time of your menopause, its common to develop cysts. These are harmless lumps filled with fluid. However, if you do find a lump, dont wait to be offered your routine screening: visit your GP to rule out breast cancer.

How Does Menopause Affect Your Breasts

So, why on earth does the menopause affect breast tissue so much? Its one of the things that were really fighting against as we go through the menopause. Our breast tissue is very, very sensitive to oestrogen. It has a lot of oestrogen-receptor sites in it. So, when our , as we approach the menopause and go through the menopause, this can have quite a marked effect on the size, shape, and structure of our breasts.

Now, the most common breast symptom that tends to happen during the menopause is breast tenderness and discomfort. But, there are other breast issues that can happen so I thought I would go through those ones today.

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Breast Enlargement / Swelling

The second thing that can happen for some women, is that it goes the other way and their breasts start to get bigger and bigger. For some women, this is absolutely great. You know, they think, “At last, I’m getting the breasts that I’ve always wanted.” For other women, obviously, they can end up getting too big.

It will completely change your shape. You can end up getting a lot of discomfort. We tend to get a lot of anyway, especially those of us that are working in offices or working at desks. And, if your breast tissue enlarges too much, that can put extra stress onto the back muscles too, and it can cause a huge amount of distress.

Again, this is going to affect the way we see ourselves and also how we feel about ourselves as well.

Treating Breast Pain After Menopause

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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:

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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.

Why Is My Stomach So Big After Menopause

How to lose menopause belly is a question we all wish we knew the answer to.

Its a complicated one, and not finding out the answer makes it even more complicated.

But ladies, there is a solution to menopause weight gain or multiple solutions if Im being honest. You just have to have faith in yourself, remind yourself that you can reduce that belly fat, and stay in line with that motivation.

Stomach fat is unavoidable for many women, especially as they age. Yes, thats unfortunate, but we all have to go through it and we can all go through it together. Stop asking yourself how long does menopause weight gain lasts for!

We cant stop or restart the estrogen production in our bodies, but we can make moves to help our bodies stay in line like exercise regularly, limit alcohol consumption, eat the right foods, try to get enough sleep, and take supplements or medications that can help.

Doctors and leading healthcare professionals can tell us its near impossible, but its not. Pound through those years and get to the root of your specific problems youll shine after that and youll feel better about your body for it.

Contents

Read more about Menopause

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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.

When To Check With Your Doctor

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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.

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals: âPerimenopause: Changes, Treatment, Staying Healthy.â

National Cancer Institute: âUnderstanding Breast Changes.â

Kataria , K. Indian Journal of Surgery. June, 2014.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: âBreast Changes: Should I Be Concerned?â

Mayo Clinic: âBreast Cysts.â

American Cancer Society: âFibrosis and simple cysts.â

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Video: Breast Cancer Screening

This video explains what happens during a mammogram and the benefits of mamography and ultrasound.

It’s your choice whether to have breast screening, but bear in mind that most experts believe it’s beneficial in picking up breast cancer early.

If you’re 71 or over, you’ll stop receiving screening invitations through the post, but you can still carry on with screening if you want to.

Contact your local breast screening unit to arrange an appointment.

Read more about breast cancer screening.

Are Hrt And Breast Growth Linked

Estrogen replacement therapy is the most common type of HRT. These treatments help to balance hormone levels by providing the body with exogenous, or man-made, hormones and relieving symptoms of an imbalance.

Though one could assume that supplying lost estrogen in the body should stimulate menopause breast growth, it is not always the case.

Only some menopausal women report increases in their cup size while on HRT, and while breast enlargement is sometimes listed as a side effect on HRT – alongside breast tenderness, mood swings, or bloating -, whether these effects can be solely attributed to the regimen is unclear.3

In fact, some data studies have disproven the HRT breast growth link, suggesting that the use of HRT is only moderately, not significantly, associated with breast size increases in menopausal women.2

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What Happens To My Breasts After Menopause

When a woman enters menopause, one symptom she experiences is breast pain and there are several reasons for this. A woman may get menopausal breast pain as the result of hormonal changes in her body while other women experience it because of a minor infection that occurred in the breasts. Some menopausal women get breast pain because of benign cysts but other women may have the early signs of breast cancer and this is one reason why you should visit the doctor if you have consistent breast pain over a period of weeks.

The arrow on this mammogram points to a small cancerous lesion. A lesion is an area of abnormal tissue change

Why Do My Breasts Swell During Menopause?

One of the main reasons why your breasts swell during menopause is because your estrogen levels drop while your progesterone levels increase and this lack of balance causes swelling in the breasts. In addition, if you have too much estrogen in your system there is a chance that your breasts will be swollen.

Herbs You Can Use To Treat Menopausal Breast Problems

An herb that some naturopathic doctors recommend for menopause is black cohosh, and it treats other symptoms such as night sweats, vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Dong quai is an anti-inflammatory herb that works for menopausal breast problems and red clover is good for this purpose as well as reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

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They Might Become More Dense

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Breast density isn’t something you can feel. It refers to the amount of fat you have versus the amount of denser tissue like glands and ducts. The only way to know if you have dense breasts is to get a mammogram.

Dense breasts are much more common in younger women compared to older ones, but Dr. Gupta says that doesn’t mean your breasts automatically get less dense with each passing decade. In fact, she says some women likely have denser breasts in their 40s than they did in their 30s due to all the hormonal changes .

Breast density is important because it makes it harder for radiologists to spot cancer on a mammogram, and density in and of itself seems to raise the risk of breast cancer. If you don’t already know if you have dense breasts, ask your doctor. You should also ask if you’re a candidate for a sonogram, says Dr. Hall. “In women with dense breasts, 50% of breast cancer is missed during a mammogram,” she says, noting that a sonogram is more accurate.

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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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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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Natural Decline Of Estrogen

One of the main causes of aging changes in the breasts is a natural decline of the female reproductive hormone estrogen. This reduced amount of estrogen causes the skin and connective tissue of the breast to become less hydrated, making it less elastic.

With less elasticity, the breasts lose firmness and fullness and can develop a stretched and looser appearance. Its not uncommon to change your cup size as you age.

Dense breast tissue is replaced by fatty tissue as the aging process continues.

They Pack More Lumps And Bumps

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Again, blame your hormones. “Fibrocystic changes are common in your 40s,” says Dr. Gupta. You might notice that your breasts feel lumpier, which is generally nothing to worry about as long as the changes are similar in both breasts. It’s also normal for your breasts to feel progressively bumpier as your period approaches. When in doubtor if you suddenly find a lump that wasn’t there last month or that doesn’t diminish after your period startsask your doc to check it out.

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Get Your Bra Size Checked

Get yourself checked out for your bra size. Again, I did it a few years ago. I was absolutely horrified because Ive been wearing the wrong size bra for about 20 years so I was just utterly embarrassed and mortified. This is something I do, maybe once a year. Its a good excuse to get nice new bras apart from anything else. And it gives you an idea of just exactly what kind of bra and size you should be wearing, and you look so much better.

The difference a proper fitting bra makes to your figure is really quite incredible. It can make you look completely different. A lot of the big department stores do this as a free service. So, you know, even try having a girly afternoon out with some friends â that way you can all go and get checked out. It can be a lot of fun as well.

So If You’re Wondering How Your Perky Boobs Got So Saggy Here Are 6 Facts About How Women’s Breast Tissue Changes With Age

1. Your breasts become less dense.

The density of.a woman’s breasts is likely to change throughout her lifetime, with younger, thinner women typically having higher density and older, heavier women typically have less.

In addition to age and weight, other factors that affect breast density include genetics and family history, breastfeeding, menopause, and other hormonal shifts, such as those caused by birth control pills or hormone therapy.

According to the folks at Susan G. Komen, density has little to do with how firm a woman’s breasts feel. In fact, the only way to determine the measure of density in a woman’s breasts is through a mammogram.

It’s important to know the density factor of your breasts as you age because, while the reasons for this are unclear, “women with high breast density have about a four to five times higher risk of breast cancer than women with low breast density.”

2. Your breasts develop all kinds of lumps and bumps.

Most often, having some lumps or bumps in your breasts is normal. In fact, both teens and older women may notice lumps and bumps in various areas of their breasts.

The issue could be fibrocystic breast tissue, a normal condition found in somewhere around half of all women of menstruating age. Fibrocystic breast may be tender to the touch, particularly around the time of your menstrual cycle.

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3. Your breasts get saggy.

4. Your breasts get softer.

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