Breast pain is fairly common. With nearly 70% of women tolerating breast pain sometime in their life, it is generally not an immediate cause for concern. Due to shifts in hormones, sharp breast pain in right breast is typically associated with the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause as well.
What Do I Need to Know about Breasts?
Breasts consist of a collection of fat cells otherwise known as adipose tissue. Although muscles lie under each breast, they don't sit within the breast itself. Glands and ducts lead to the nipple and the surrounding colored area – the areola. Under the areola, ducts that fill with milk during lactation are found. When young women reach puberty, hormonal changes cause the ducts to grow and fat deposits in the breast tissue to increase.
Breast pain falls into two categories: cyclical and non-cyclical.
1. Cyclical breast pain
Cyclical breast pain can be identified as pain felt in the left or right breast before or during each menstrual cycle. Cyclical breast pain is associated with the rise and fall of hormones that occur near a woman's monthly cycle.
2. Non-cyclical breast pain
Breast pain that is not related to the menstrual cycle is known as non-cyclical. This category of pain is commonly experienced by women going through menopause, and can be expected to subside after two years.
Why Does My Right Breast Hurt?
Pain in either breast can most commonly be attributed to an imbalance in estrogen levels, often occurring in women during menopause. This can cause them to increase in size, resulting in possible pain above or under the right breast. If your hormone levels are fluctuating, as they often can during the menstrual cycle as well, you may find that pain under your right breast is worse than under the left or vice versa. There are many other factors that could cause breast pain in one or both breasts. These include:
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Breast pain is one of the symptoms that can start one or two weeks before your period.
Oral contraceptive pills. Mild breast pain or enlargement may occur after starting birth control pills, though usually it gets better after a few weeks.
Mastitis. This infection, common during breastfeeding, can cause pain, swelling, redness, and an increase in body temperature.
When to See a Doctor
Routine mammograms should be an integral part of every woman's life. It is important to consult a physician if you have sharp pain in the right, or either breast, that persists, or if sharp pain is centralized to your nipple area and causes the breasts to become red and swollen.
Easing the Pain
You can manage breast pain any of the following ways:
Reduce your sodium intake. Steer clear of salty foods, which can result in water retention. Eat more leafy greens and vitamin C-rich fruit, such as spinach and mangos.
Avoid caffeine. Coffee, tea, and chocolates are high in caffeine, which can worsen breast pain. Instead, drink plenty or water.
Invest in a supportive bra. Relieve pain with a well-fitted bra that has the correct cup size.
Take vitamins. Vitamins B1, B6, and E have been known to help relieve breast pain.
Rest and relax. Stress can have a negative impact on hormone levels and breast pain.
Although breast pain is inevitable in a woman's life, it doesn't have to be suffered. Slight alterations to your daily routine could make a big impact on relieving breast pain. If pain persists, make an appointment with your doctor. Click on the following link to read more about treatments for breast pain.
Other Related Articles:
Breast Pain and Tenderness
5 Natural Remedies to Relieve Armpit and Breast Pain
Chest and Breast Pain: What Should I Do?
Pain in Breast Area FAQs
Can Exercise Cause Breast Pain?