What Causes Breast Tenderness With Dr Suzanne Mcmurry
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.
Reasons For An Increase In Breast Size
Rest assured boob growth with age is normal. According to Victoria Karlinsky-Bellini, MD, FACS, a New York-based cosmetic surgeon, it is often the result of fluctuating hormones as you go through perimenopause and menopause. For many women, the drop in hormones can trigger weight gain, she explains. There is an accumulation of fat cells, and part of that accumulation happens in the breast.
As your hormones continue to rise, fall, and generally become as temperamental as you often feel, youll notice even more changes in your breasts, especially considering that gravity has already sort of taken its toll on the twins. Women who breast fed often find that the breast tissue shrinks, the skin gets stretched out with milk, and as the breast goes down, everything involutes, explains Andrew Cohen, MD, FACS, a California-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Whether or not you breastfed, you may notice a larger space between the breasts, or the area around the areola may get bigger or smaller, plus, the breast tissue itself becomes less elastic.
Why Are My Breasts Swollen
Breast swelling refers to the enlargement of one or both breasts, typically accompanied by soreness or pain. A sensation of soreness typically occurs during menstrual periods, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. The main cause of swollen breasts and tenderness is hormone fluctuations. Estrogen and progesterone levels shift during menopause, pregnancy, and menstruation.
Why Do Breasts Enlarge After Menopause
Perimenopause and menopause breasts are different than any other breasts.
Just like during pregnancy, perimenopause breast growth and menopause breast growth stages do change size and shape. Symptoms such as tenderness, soreness, and minor aches and pains in the breast tissue may start to occur.
So, if youre asking yourself is it normal to have breast pain after menopause, the answer is yes.
Ultimately, we want to know and be aware of the changes that our breasts can go through during these times, so that we can also prepare ourselves for what our breasts will look like after menopause.
Questions that commonly pop into our minds may include, why are my breasts getting larger or swelling? Will the size change again once menopause is complete? And so on and so forth.
Some of the most common breast changes may cause us to worry and hinder a sense of panic, but just keep in mind, that most of these occurrences are very normal for menopausal women.
Read more about Menopause
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.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Have new, unusual, or changing lumps in breast tissue
- Have one-sided lumps in breast tissue
- Do not know how to properly perform breast self-examination
- Are a woman, age 40 years or older, and have never had a screening mammogram
- Have discharge from your nipple, particularly if it is a bloody or brown discharge
- Have symptoms that interfere with your ability to sleep, and diet changes and exercise have not helped
Do Breasts Hurt When They Grow If So Why
Yes, breasts can hurt when they grow. Breasts grow in response to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. As you enter puberty, levels of these hormones increase. Your breasts begin to grow under the stimulation of these hormones. Hormone levels also change during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. Hormones cause a change in the amount of fluid in your breasts. This may make your breasts feel more sensitive or painful.
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.
What Breast Changes Happen At Puberty
As a girl approaches her teen years, the first visible signs of breast development begin. When the ovaries start to produce and release estrogen, fat in the connective tissue starts to collect. This causes the breasts to enlarge. The duct system also starts to grow. Often these breast changes happen at the same that pubic hair and armpit hair appear.
Once ovulation and menstruation begin, the maturing of the breasts begins with the formation of secretory glands at the end of the milk ducts. The breasts and duct system continue to grow and mature, with the development of many glands and lobules. The rate at which breasts grow is different for each young woman.
|Female breast developmental stages|
|Mature adult breast. The breast becomes rounded and only the nipple is raised.|
What Causes Breast Changes From Menopause
A natural process of aging in menopausal women is our breasts come to grips with the realities of gravity, losing their previous firmness and full shape.
But these changes can involve pain in your breasts, maybe a dull ache, heaviness, tightness, or a burning sensation. Breast pain may be linked to a menstrual cycle, and it is usually not a symptom of cancer. The hormonal changes in a womans body post-menopause cause the skin to lose moisture and elasticity. This has a stretching, sagging effect on the breasts. Many, but not all, older women should expect to change a cup size due to the breast size changes.
Effects of hormone levels on the breasts may include increased pain and lumpiness, which understandably can be worrisome if youre looking for signs of breast cancer. A lump that gets smaller over time is unlikely to be cancer. A lump that remains the same size or gets bigger should be evaluated because of a risk of breast cancer.
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.
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.
Breast Sagging & Shrinking
The first one is the one that we all hate, the one that we all do not want to have to face, and that is the fact that our breast size and shape can change. Our breasts can start to sag. They lose their pertness and, also, they can shrink. So, a lot of women find that their breast size decreases as they go through the menopause.
And, especially for women who are small breasted anyway, this can have quite a big dent on their confidence and also, for many of us, our breasts are a big part of our femininity. When they start to change and we feel they don’t look as good as they did, then that can have a big impact on our self-worth, how sexy we feel, and that also links to our relationships with our partners as well.
Again, with this one, it’s all to do with low oestrogen. This can affect the connective tissue which is basically the strengthening compounds that are in cells that help to keep everything strong and firm. So, if these decrease, then just because of the natural shape of the breasts, they will start to fall downwards. They’re affected by gravity.
You Can’t 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.
It’s ironic, isn’t it? From our “tender” preteen days, most of us couldn’t wait until that first sign of womanhood. We couldn’t wait to buy — and wear — our first training bra.
Of course, you’ve got to be careful what you wish for. My daughter, Sarah, was a late bloomer and prayed for boobs. They didn’t 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 I’m mid-cycle” said one perimenopausal friend. “He can’t even look at them without getting the ‘evil eye’ from me! My breasts are so painful that sometimes I can’t even bear to have the shower head pointed toward them.”
A Different Kind of Fluid Retention
The Shape of Things to Come
The Progesterone Approach
How about Hormone Replacement Therapy ?
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 I’ve 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. It’s 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.
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.
Hrt And Breast Development Warnings
Is important to keep in mind that HRT should not be used for the sole purpose of enlarging breast size.
The treatment has been linked to serious side effects, like a higher risk of breast cancer, which may last for over a decade after its discontinuation.5 As such, its use is generally recommended for severe menopause symptoms or to lower the risk of complications, like osteoporosis.
Moreover, studies have shown that HRT doubles breast density, which is a risk factor for breast cancer.6 Natural aging of the breast tissue that results in complete involution of the milk glands actually cuts the breast cancer risk by half.7
Does A Lump In My Breast Mean I Have Breast Cancer
While performing breast self-examinations to look for lumps in your breast can help in early cancer detection, lumps dont necessarily mean you have cancer. The main reason self-exams are important is that they help you learn what is normal for you. For many women, having some lumps is normal.
With regular examination, you may notice that your lumps come and go, usually with your menstrual cycle. Although most lumps arent a cause for concern, whenever you find a lump for the first time you should let your doctor know. Some lumps will need to be drained or possibly even removed if they become uncomfortable.
Other changes in your body may signal that your breasts are, or are about to, start growing. Some signs include:
- the appearance of small, firm lumps under your nipples
- itchiness around your nipples and chest area
- tender or soreness in your breasts
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.
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.
Growths In The Breast Tissue
The chances of developing growths in the breast, such as fibroids, cysts, and tumors, increases with age. In most cases, these lumps are noncancerous, and most females have them. However, it is important to get a doctor to check any new lumps.
Noncancerous lumps can include the following:
- Fibroids are benign growths consisting of fibrous connective tissue.
- Cysts are round, tender lumps that contain fluid. A complex cyst can contain both solid and liquid components.
- Ductal or lobular hyperplasia occurs when the cells that line the milk ducts grow excessively.
- Fibroadenomas refer to benign tumors comprising glandular and connective tissue. According to the American Cancer Society, fibroadenomas most often affect females in their 20s and 30s.
- Intraductal papillomas are benign tumors that grow inside the milk ducts. They often cause bloody discharge from the nipples.
- Adenosis causes enlarged lobules in the breast. These sometimes contain calcium deposits, which can make them resemble cancer on a mammogram.
Menopause Symptoms: Tingling And Swelling In Breasts
Breast pain affects as many as 70 percent of women at some point during their lives, with tingling and swelling being two uncomfortable sensations that can occur as a result. Continue reading to learn more about tingling and swollen breasts during menopause so that you can find the relief you deserve.
Breast Enlargement After Menopause
DEAR DR. ROACH: I always have had small breasts. Suddenly, in my mid-70s, my breasts grew, and now at 80 I have outgrown most of my clothes. My doctor said that it is fat, but I have gained only a few pounds. Could this be hormonal? Have you addressed this issue before? S.F.
ANSWER: I haven’t addressed this before. Breasts change size during a woman’s life for many reasons. Breast tissue is a mixture of fat and glandular tissue.
For young women, there’s proportionally more glandular tissue, the amount of which tends to decrease over time. After menopause, the breasts become less glandular; what is lost is replaced by fat, as there is less estrogen.
About 20 percent of women will notice significantly larger breasts after menopause; however, this usually occurs along with overall weight gain. Significant breast enlargement without much weight gain is not common in my experience.
Hopefully, your doctor did a thorough examination. However, I think it is very unlikely that your breast size changes represent a tumor. Very rarely, there are estrogen-producing tumors, so if there were other reasons to be concerned, your doctor might check blood levels of hormones, including estrogen.
How Does Menopause Affect Your Breasts
So, why on earth does the menopause affect breast tissue so much? It’s one of the things that we’re 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.
What To Do About Sagging Breasts
Its a lot to take in, right? While you may be tempted to immediately book an appointment for a lift, Dr. Karlinsky-Bellini advises holding off until hormonal fluctuations have leveled off after all, the size changes may not have finished just yet. While it cant exactly do all the heavy lifting, we like Alchimie Forever Firming Gel for Neck and Bust for the purposes of hydrating, and therefore obscuring, any stretch marks you might have incurred. Dr. Cohen also recommends sleeping with a bra on you may be sleeping, but gravity never does and wearing an even more supportive bra during the day if your chest feels uncomfortably heavy during this sudden growth spurt .
To help with weight fluctuations overall, Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night, dont smoke, drink a lot of water, and make sure your hormone levels are okay, says Dr. Cohen. And while size and shape changes are entirely normal, Dr. Cohen notes that changes in the thickness in breast skin, a pulled nipple, nipple discharge, pain, a lump, puckering of the skin, or one breast looking significantly different than the other could be a sign that something other than regular hormonal fluctuations is happening. In those cases, see your doctor immediately.