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Breast Tenderness and Pregnancy

Breast tenderness can be a symptom of   pregnancy or menopause.

Breast tenderness can be a symptom of a host of conditions, including early pregnancy and menopause. Typically however, it is experienced as an early warning sign of pregnancy. In the case of pregnancy triggered tenderness, the condition can also be accompanied by morning sickness, headaches, and missed periods. In order to manage pregnancy triggered tenderness and its symptoms, read on.

How Is Breast Tenderness Related to Pregnancy?

For some women, breast tenderness is a sign of early pregnancy as it occurs before symptoms like missed periods and morning sickness. During this time, the breasts will feel more sensitive to touch and even painful. However, because breast tenderness can also be experienced during a normal menstrual cycle, this symptom of pregnancy can sometimes go unnoticed.

Why Do I Experience Breast Tenderness during Pregnancy?

Breast tenderness during pregnancy can be explained as the consequence of the body preparing to feed your baby. As the milk ducts start to grow in preparation, the breasts themselves will start to swell, a process that can be rather uncomfortable. Breast tenderness can also be triggered by the sudden influx of hormones (i,e.,estrogen and progesterone) that cause blood to rush to the breasts.

What Other Symptoms Will Accompany My Breast Tenderness during Pregnancy?

Common Breast Changes during Pregnancy

  • Veins become highly visible
  • Breast can increase in size by up to two cup sizes
  • Tingling, throbbing, or burning sensation
  • Increased nipple sensitivity
  • Itchiness
  • Heaviness
  • Oversensitivity
  • Missed period. This is perhaps the most obvious and early symptom of pregnancy. Although some women might find themselves simply experiencing a significantly lighter period than normal.

  • Fatigue. As fatigue and exhaustion are often common side effects of pregnancy, consider the possibility that you might be pregnant if you're finding yourself in frequent need of naps.

  • Morning sickness. Because the body will have a number of hormones surging through it during pregnancy the feeling of nausea can become quite common. This feeling can make it difficult to consume or keep anything down.

How Can I Treat Breast Tenderness during Pregnancy?

Eat a balanced diet to treat breast tenderness during pregnancy.

Because breast tenderness can be related to hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, the most appropriate response is to try and level out those hormones. In order to do this, first, you need to establish a stable exercise regime, (light exercise if breast tenderness is causing pain when you work out) and a balanced diet. There are additionally, a host of natural medicines that can help to stabilize your hormones and provide relief for breast tenderness.

Tips for preventing breast tenderness:

  • Avoid under wired bras
  • Wear a good supportive bra for exercise
  • Soak in a warm bath
  • Apply a cool cloth to inflamed areas.

For more specific treatments for breast tenderness, click on the link below.

Knowing Your Body: Breast Pain during Menopause

Breasts – you can't live with them and you don't want to live without them. Learn how to identify and manage breast pain during menopause.

6 Causes to Consider for Sudden Breast Pain

Excessive alcohol and stress are some causes of sudden breast pain. It's crucial to be aware of your lifestyle and diet to pinpoint possible triggers.

Does Caffeine Cause Breast Pain?

Read to find out if your consumption of caffeine may cause breast pain or not.

Sources:
  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.