Breast Pain
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Breast Pain

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The anatomy of the breast

Breast pain is a common symptom that can develop during the menopausal transition, due to fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone. While postmenopausal women can experience breast pain, it is most common in premenopausal and perimenopausal women.

A common complaint among females, breast pain affects as many as 70% of women at some point in their lives. Only a small portion of these women, about 10%, will experience severe breast pain, which can have a significant impact on relationships, work, and daily life. Nevertheless, breast pain can prompt understandable questions and concerns at any intensity.

Becoming more educated about breast pain in menopause is one of the best steps towards understanding and managing this condition. Please read on to learn more about breast pain.

Breast pain – known medically as mastalgia, mastodynia, and mammalgia – is the general term used to mean discomfort, tenderness, and/or pain in one or both of the breasts.

Breast pain is categorized as either cyclical or non-cyclical. With the former, breast pain is the result of hormonal changes, making it the most common kind of breast pain in pre– and perimenopausal women. Non-cyclical breast pain, more common in postmenopausal women, is not related to hormonal changes. Extramammary breast pain, which originates outside the breast, is a third type of breast discomfort.

The symptoms of breast pain can vary depending on the type and the individual woman. Generally speaking, symptoms include tenderness, tightness, soreness, burning, swelling, dullness, and/or aching. Symptoms can be consistent or intermittent and may affect one or both breasts.

Click here to learn more about breast pain, or read on to learn more about the causes of breast pain.

Understanding Different Types of Breast Pain

Breast pain is a common condition and is felt by a vast majority of women. The factors that lead to it and the sensations that can be experienced are different for each individual, but there are some common contributors. This article explains in more detail the different types of breast pain.

Causes of Breast Pain

The most common cause of breast discomfort during menopause is hormonal change. As with all times of hormonal fluctuation (i.e. menstruation and pregnancy), menopause can alter the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. As a result, women may develop breast pain.

While hormones are the most common cause of breast pain experienced in menopause, other factors can cause or contribute to breast pain. These rarer causes range from serious health conditions to dietary issues.

Less Common Causes of Breast Pain

Breast cysts

Breast trauma

Prior breast surgery

Breast size



Oral contraceptive use



Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Cholesterol and heart drugs

Oral contraceptive pills: a less common cause of breast pain

Click here to learn more about the causes of breast pain, or read on to learn more about when to speak with a doctor about breast pain.

What Is the Relationship between Menopause and Breast Pain?

There is a strong link between menopause and breast pain, and this is due to a number of reasons. This article provides you with important information about how menopause and breast pain are linked, making it easier for you to work out appropriate treatment options.

Breast Pain Diagnosis

Doctor: prolonged or unexplained breast pain should be consulted with a doctor

While breast discomfort during menopause is not usually cause for alarm, it is never a bad idea to speak with a doctor about this symptom. Though breast pain is rarely indicant of cancer, speaking with a doctor to rule out breast cancer can greatly help to allay these worries and help a woman determine the best way to manage breast tenderness.

Women who experience prolonged or unexplained breast pain, or additional accompanying symptoms should speak with a doctor to rule out rare, but more serious, causes of breast pain. At a doctor visit, a full physical and clinical exam will be performed. If something more serious is suspected, a doctor may order additional tests.

Click here to learn more about breast pain diagnosis or continue reading to learn more about the different breast pain treatments there are.

Sharp Breast Pain: Should I Be Worried?

Breast pain is always uncomfortable and worrisome, regardless of whether it's dull or extreme, sharp or intermittent. But you're not alone – as many as 70% of women will experience it at some point in their lives. To find out the various causes of breast pain and whether or not you should take immediately action, read this article.

Breast Pain Treatments

Fortunately, a number of self-care measures and natural treatments can help to relieve breast pain during menopause with little or no side effect risks. Self-care can include avoiding dietary and lifestyle triggers, getting regular exercise, massage, and relaxation techniques.

Herbs: natural therapies are good options to relieve breast pain symptoms

While these can help a woman reduce the severity of breast pain, they alone cannot reach the root problem of hormonal imbalance. Natural therapies are safe and effective methods of relieving breast pain symptoms by targeting the root cause of hormonal imbalance. A majority of women find that a combination of self-care and natural therapies is the best way to address breast pain in menopause.

Experts recommend exploring medical options only after these other methods have failed to provide relief, because these are often more invasive and carry greater risks.

Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for breast pain, which begin with lifestyle changes, move onto alternative medicines, and finally, if those options don't seem to help, drugs and surgery. The most effective treatments for breast pain typically combine lifestyle changes and alternative medicines.

5 Tips on How to Prepare for Breast Pain

Whether you are pregnant or approaching your menstrual cycle, breast pain will find you. While some instances may be more intense than others, your daily routine can play a big part in combating the discomfort. Keeping your diet and exercise routine in check will help tremendously.

  • 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.
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