How Can I Tell If Breast Tenderness Is Period
Yup, you’re on the money: You can also get sore boobs when youre pregnant. For many women, breast discomfort is one of the early notifications of a pregnancy, says Dr. Minkin.
That makes the whole pre-period breast tenderness a little confusing, even for doctors. Its hard to tell the difference, to be honest, says G. Thomas Ruiz, MD, lead ob-gyn at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
That said, there are a few key differences to look out for. When breast tenderness is related to your period, its cyclical, meaning it usually comes on during specific times within the month and then gets better after your period wraps up, Dr. Ruiz explains. If youre pregnant, its not going to go away and it will get more progressive, he points out.
If youve been trying to get pregnant and youre curious if this is a sign you might be, youll still unfortunately have to wait for your period to arrive to have a better idea. If the tenderness is unrelenting and you dont get your period, you could be pregnant, Dr. Shirazian says.
Which Nutritional Deficiency Can Cause Breast Pain
The number one nutritional deficiency causing cyclical breast pain isiodine deficiency.
Iodine is an under-rated nutrient when it comes to your breast health. We mostly think of iodine as being crucial for thyroid function, but it has important roles in keeping our ovaries, uterus, brain and detoxification systems healthy as well.
Second to your thyroid, your ovaries and breast tissue store higher amounts of iodine than anywhere else in the body. This explains why iodine requirements are higher for women than men.
Our ovaries rely on iodine for smooth, regular ovulation and sufficient iodine levels helps to prevent ovulation pain and ovarian cysts.
Wear Your Sturdiest Sports Bras All Day
A really supportive, non-underwire bra, like sports bras, might actually be your best friend during your period. “Close-fitting sports bras are helpful in keeping the breasts close to the body, which keeps their movement at bay, and thus decreases the pain associated with unrestricted movement,” Dr. Gaither said. Even a soft non-underwire bra can help, Dr. Hall explained: “If the breast ligaments are stretched due to increased breast size, a soft bra relieves that strain on the ligaments.”
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Symptoms Of Cyclical Breast Tenderness
If you notice the soreness in your breasts appearing and subsiding every month, then it is most probably cyclical breast pain. The following are the most common symptoms of cyclical breast pain:
- Soreness and a dull pain in the upper and outer area of both breasts
- A feeling of heavier or swollen breasts before a period
- Pain affects both breasts, and may often also spread to the armpits
- The pain can range from mild and dull to severe in some cases
- Usually begins around two weeks before menstruation and fades away at the start of your period
How Does Iodine Deficiency Cause Sore Boobs
One of iodines main roles is to make cells less sensitive to estrogen. This is good news for your breasts because iodine helps to lessen the breast swelling and sensitivity associated with increased estrogen.
So as you can see, breast pain is often a combination of excess estrogen and iodine deficiency and often requires a two-prong approach.
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Whats The Biological Reason For Cyclical Breast Pain
The cause of cyclical breast pain is likely hormonal due to its pattern in relation to the menstrual cycle, but the exact hormone involved is not known . Some theories include excess estrogen or prolactin, or deficient progesterone during the luteal phase, but studies have had conflicting results . Still, cyclical breast pain is a common experience after ovulation .
Other theories about the cause of cyclical breast pain include fluid retention and lipid metabolism . Swollen milk ducts have also been found in people experiencing both cyclical and non-cyclical breast pain .
A note from the science team at Clue
When you track in Clue, youâre helping scientists to understand more about breast pain.
Laura Symul, a scientist at Stanford, is currently studying how breast pain is reported by Clue users from different demographic backgrounds, to see if the data reveal patterns that have not been described in scientific research yet.
Read more about how tracking in Clue advances science here.
How To Reduce Breast Pain Before Period
A good way of relieving breast tenderness is to keep them in place as much as possible. The less they move, the better. Sports bras are great for this. In fact, exercise is great for relieving PMS symptoms like breast pain, believe it or not. So when that pulsating pain starts creeping up on you, put on a good supportive bra and go for a walk to ease the aches. Taking a steamy bath after helps, too!
You can also reduce breast pain before they start interfering with your life. Start with your diet. Try cutting back on salty food and caffeine as much as you can. While youre at it, eat more soy and fibre while avoiding dairy food. If the pain becomes unbearable, dont be afraid to visit a clinic and get some pain medication. Remember, the pain goes away when your period comes so hang in there!
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Should I Be Worried About Breast Pain
Generally, no. Breast pain is a pretty normal PMS symptom, but its good to know the signs of something else, just in case. Its easy to jump to the conclusion of breast cancer whenever anything is painful or lumpy, but try not to worry as in the majority of cases its nothing.
Any unexplained breast pain that doesn’t leave after one or two menstrual cycles, that continues even after menopause, or that doesn’t follow your regular hormone changes, should be checked by your GP to make sure its nothing to worry about.
Bloating Before A Period Is A Common Pms Symptom
The week before your period, you may experience breast tenderness and swelling.
Symptoms such as bloating, swollen arms and legs, and bags under the eyes can also appear. Swelling and bloating are common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome that are caused by water retention.
Whether other symptoms of PMS are present or not, water retention is common during this time.
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Treatments For Breast Pain And Sore Nipples Before A Period
Most premenstrual breast pain can be treated just fine with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that you can buy in any supermarket or pharmacy. The most common one youll probably find is ibuprofen, which is also fantastic for relieving other period and PMS symptoms.You might also find that going on hormonal birth control, including the oral contraceptive pill, helps to reduce your symptoms and any discomfort youre having before your period starts.If your pain is above mild, or if youve found that the methods above just arent working for you, you may want to think about having a talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a stronger medication that will suit your needs better. If youre undergoing hormone replacement therapy , they may also talk to you about lowering the dosage if its causing you pain.
Is It Normal To Experience Bloating Before A Period
Yes, the feeling of bloating just before a period is very common.
It may occur every month, once in a while, or bloating may never occur at all. Once your period arrives, or a few days into it, the symptoms should disappear. As your period progresses, water retention declines rapidly and the swelling subsides.
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What Causes Breast Pain
Throughout our cycles, our breasts are constantly being influenced by the changing levels of our sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen in particular, has a stimulatory effect on breast tissue.
In the first half of the cycle, estrogen is produced by our ovaries which begins to stimulate the growth of milk ducts in our breasts. After ovulation, estrogen drops and progesterone takes center stage, stimulating the development of milk glands to prepare for the production of your babys first food, if you were to become pregnant.
When you are ovulating consistently and estrogen levels are in tune with progesterone levels, these changes are controlled and can go, more or less, unnoticed.
However, if your hormones are out of balance theres an overproduction of estrogen in relation to its sister hormone progesterone, a phenomenon known as estrogen dominance or estrogen excess your breast cells become overwhelmed and this can manifest as some real pain-the-boob symptoms.
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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Vitamins And Dietary Supplements
A few of the alternative treatments that have been evaluated to some degree include evening primrose oil , vitex agnus-castus , vitamin E, and vitamin B6.
A 2018 double-blinded randomized controlled study looked at the ability of chamomile drops to improve cyclical breast pain.
The supplement was found to be safe, well tolerated, and effective at reducing moderate cyclical breast pain.
But look before you leapand consult your healthcare provider first. They may seem harmless, but herbs and vitamins could interact with other drugs you’re taking.
What It Feels Like During Pregnancy
Like breasts themselves, breast pain comes in many varieties. It can happen in one or both breasts. You may feel it all over, in a specific spot, or moving outward into your armpits. The soreness can be constant, or it can come and go.
During the earliest weeks of pregnancy, breast pain tends to be dull and achy. Your boobs may feel heavy and swollen. They can be super sensitive to the touch, making exercise and sex play very uncomfortable. If youre a stomach sleeper, the pain can keep you up at night.
For many women, the nipples are particularly sensitive in these early weeks. They can be so tender to the touch that it hurts to dry off after a shower or put on a bra . But extreme nipple sensitivity typically passes within a few weeks.
As the first trimester progresses, you may notice fullness and heaviness rather than tenderness. Some women also experience a tingling sensation in the nipples and areolas during the first trimester.
Sharp breast pain which can feel like a knife being stabbed into a specific area of one breast isnt common during pregnancy. While it can happen, this type of pain is less common with pregnancy.
one to two weeks after conception technically, weeks three and four of pregnancy. That sore boob sensation peaks in the first trimester because your body is flooding with hormones. These hormones have an important job, preparing your body to grow a tiny human a hungry little human.
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Breast Pain Before Your Period
Breast pain before your period may come with tenderness and swelling. This is a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome . In less common cases, extreme breast pain before your period along with tenderness and swelling may also indicate fibrocystic breast disease.
Most cases of sharp breast pain before your period are caused by fluctuating levels of hormones. The levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone change during your normal menstrual cycle. These hormones prepare your reproductive system and breasts for a potential pregnancy. Estrogen causes the breast ducts to enlarge. Progesterone causes the milk glands to swell. Your breasts may feel sore because of these changes.
Estrogen levels peak during the middle of your cycle, and progesterone levels rise during the week before your period.
The main signs and symptoms of breast pain before your period are heaviness and tenderness in both breasts. Some people experience dull aching in their breasts. The breast tissue may feel coarse or dense to the touch. Symptoms may appear a week before your period and disappear gradually after. Most people dont experience severe breast pain before their period.
Breast pain before your period may improve as you approach menopause because of the natural changes in hormone levels that occur as you age.
In some cases doctors suggest treating breast pain with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medicines may also help relieve menstrual cramps.
What Can You Do To Prevent Breast Changes During The Menstrual Cycle
There are few things that you can do to prevent changes in your breasts during the monthly cycle.
- Eat a diet lower in fat, avoiding high-fat foods such as cookies, pastries and fried foods.
- Avoid caffeine, including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
- Avoid salt one to two weeks before your period starts.
- Wear a bra that fits you properly and provides good breast support.
- Get vigorous exercise daily.
Apart from these things, check your breasts regularly for any changes.
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How Do I Handle Painful Boobs
Sore boobs shouldnt affect your daily life, so take steps to address any pain each month so you dont need to change the way you live. You may want to try sleeping in a different position, getting fitted for a bra while you have swollen breasts to get the most comfortable option, buying a more supportive sports bra for working out, or speaking to your doctor about changing your birth control to see if this makes a difference. Your doctor may also suggest reducing your sodium, taking calcium supplements, or if you have intense pain, trying estrogen blockers or pain relievers to alleviate the discomfort.
Got a question about breast pain or lumps? Feel free to reach out in our or drop us a note on Insta and if you come across a breast lump, dont put off speaking to your GP to make sure everything is A-OK. Don’t forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, hormonal supplements and more delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox, so that’s one load off your mind about everything that normally goes on down there.
How Does Estrogen Excess Cause Breast Pain
Estrogen strongly stimulates the development of milk ducts in our breasts in preparation for potential pregnancy. After ovulation, estrogen levels are designed to drop down while progesterone takes the stage until our period.
In the right levels, progesterone has a balancing on estrogen and prevents many symptoms like PMS and breast pain.
When we have issues with excess estrogen, or when progesterone is low in comparison, breast pain is often increased and may cause swelling and nipple tenderness.
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Don’t Skip Your Workouts
You may not feel like dragging yourself to the gym when your chest is hurting. But exercise helps with everything in the body, and breast pain is no exception. “It has to do with increasing healthy muscles and reducing fat cells, which produce inflammation,” Dr. Hall said, who added that inflammation is a primary cause of pain.
Exercise can increase the production of endorphins, chemicals that are natural painkillers. It also increases blood oxygenation and circulation to your tissues, which can feel invigorating, Dr. Gaither said. “Moderate aerobic exercises are helpful: Think swimming, jogging, or walking about 30 minutes a day,” Dr. Gaither added.
Ways To Manage Premenstrual Breast Pain
Chioma Ndubisi, MD, is a board-certified OB/GYN who specializes in sexual and reproductive health in New York, New York.
Do your breasts swell and become painful every month before your period?
As easy as it is to jump to conclusions and fear the worst, try not to panic. You may have a rather common condition known as cyclic mastalgia. Cyclic means it comes and goes in a predictable way mastalgia is simply another way of saying breast pain.
This article explains the two types of mastalgia: cyclic and noncyclic. It also suggests natural and medical approaches to deal with it.
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What Is Estrogen Dominance Or Estrogen Excess
The way hormones like estrogen stimulate the cellular changes in our breasts is by binding to receptors in the breast cells themselves.
Without these receptors, estrogen would have virtually no effect whatsoever on your breasts. Since the rise and fall of hormone levels is not an exact science, our bodies have evolved to be able to maintain control of these levels by increasing or decreasing the number of receptors that the hormones can bind to.
In our breasts, the way this is done is by using a chemical that competes with estrogen. That chemical is iodine.