Although many women will experience breast pain before they reach menopause, it is a common symptom of this transitional phase and is likely to affect approximately 70% of women. Breast pain is normally caused by a change in hormone levels, which fluctuate continuously during menopause. Most women don't suffer severely with this symptom, but it does bring concern to many sufferers, many of whom relate it immediately to other more serious conditions. Understanding why you encounter menopausal breast pain and knowing how you can treat the root cause of the problem is important. Read on to find out more.
What Is Breast Pain?
Breast pain is when a woman's breasts feel tender or are causing her discomfort. Symptoms will vary for each woman but include tenderness, tightness, soreness, burning, swelling, dullness, and aching. Some women will suffer with these symptoms consistently while others will experience them sporadically. Breast pain can be extremely uncomfortable and can be made more severe if the wrong size or type bra is worn. If you are concerned about your breasts, it is always advisable that you visit your doctor for a further advice.
How Does a Hormonal Imbalance Lead to Breast Pain?
A hormonal imbalance is the main reason for breast pain during menopause or prior to menopause. The production of the two sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, is disrupted during this transitional period, and it is the fluctuation in the levels of these hormones that causes breast pain. During a normal menstrual cycle, hormones have an impact on breast size. Normally the estrogen levels go up and the progesterone levels go down, meaning a woman's breasts may get slightly larger in size. However, during menopause, breasts are susceptible to pain because estrogen and progesterone levels are consistently up and down which alters the normal cycle. If there is a progesterone dominance, tenderness in the breasts is likely. This form of breast pain, caused by a hormonal imbalance, is called cyclical breast pain. During menopause it is the most likely form of breast pain that you will experience. Breast pain during the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy is also cyclical breast pain.
Could Breast Pain Be Caused by Anything Else?
As well as cyclical breast pain, non-cyclical breast pain may also affect a woman. This term refers to breast pain that is the result of conditions other than a hormonal imbalance. Non-cyclical breast pain is much less common during premenopause and perimenopause. If you are concerned about your breast pain, you should always visit your doctor for the appropriate advice. Below is a list of other causes of breast pain:
Large or heavy breasts
Oral contraceptive use
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Cholesterol and heart drugs
More Information about Breast Pain
Breast pain can be an uncomfortable symptom of menopause, and as this article explains, the main cause of this discomfort is the imbalance of hormones. You can make small lifestyle changes to help combat this hormone imbalance, or you can choose an alternative treatment option. Click on the link below to find out more about breast pain treatments available.