Breast pain, in either the left, right or both breasts, is fairly common. From the first time a girl begins to develop breasts and begins menstruating, she may experience breast pain and other breast changes from time to time. These changes tend to be in sync with the menstrual cycle, while others intensify during pregnancy or with aging.
Breast lumps, pain, and other changes may occur. However, you should rest assured that most breast lumps and other changes are not indications of cancer. Keep reading to know more about the symptoms and causes of breast pain.
About the Breasts
Before analyzing pain, it is useful to have an idea of what exactly the breasts are and what they consist of. The breast is composed of several glands and ducts that lead to the nipple and the surrounding colored area called the areola. Under the areola area, the lactiferous ducts are located. These fill with milk during lactation.
When a girl reaches puberty, changing levels of hormones cause the ducts to grow and cause fat deposits in the breast tissue to increase. This process, by itself, can cause pain in the breasts.
There are no muscles in the breasts, although muscles do lie under each breast and cover the ribs. Normal structures inside the breasts can sometimes make them feel lumpy. Lumps may be especially noticeable in women who are thin or who have small breasts and is generally no cause for concern.
Why Do I Experience Pain?
Breast pain is any discomfort or soreness in left, right, or both breast. Breast pain (mastalgia) is a common condition among women and it can be cyclical o or non-cyclical. Also, breast tenderness is often accompanied by other symptoms like swelling, which may be more pronounced in one breast than the other.
Cyclical breast pain is commonly experienced during menstruation, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Pain in these cases tends to be very uncomfortable, but usually disappears once the underlying hormonal imbalance is fixed. Women may also suffer from breast pain due to hormonal fluctuations during their menopausal transition. Middle-aged women are likely to experience breast pain after menopause too.
What Causes Right Breast Pain?
There are many causes for right breast pain. However, the principal one is unbalanced estrogen levels during menopause.
Breast InfectionMastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that occurs most frequently during breastfeeding. This infection causes pain, swelling, redness, and an increase in body temperature. It can be aggravated if a bacterium, often from the baby's mouth, enters one of the milk ducts through a crack in the nipple. This causes an infection and painful inflammation.
During menopause, hormonal fluctuations (e.g. estrogen and progesterone) affect a woman's body. Estrogen deficiency has a sharp effect on your breast tissue, which usually results with them increasing in size. This can be painful, and is further exacerbated when imbalances between estrogen and progesterone increase the breasts will grow to an even larger size, thus making them more sensitive.
What Can I Do?
Hormonal changes are the principal cause for breast pain. If you are suffering from breast pain you should avoid certain foods like caffeine or junk food, take multivitamins, or research herbal supplements. If lifestyle changes fail to help on its own, there are various well-regarded alternative treatments like acupuncture that have been shown to naturally restore the body's hormonal harmony. However, it is very important to discuss all your symptoms with your doctor before starting any treatment.