Breast Pain
Reader Comments
We at 34-menopause-symptoms.com believe in an ongoing dialogue with our readers and value their feedback.

To leave a comment, concern, tip, or experience about breast pain, please leave your comment below.
Name:
City:
E-mail (Optional):

Breast Pain

Follow us

Follow us on Google +
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.

Important Things to Know about Breast Pain

Breast pain is a common symptom. It is important to know the common causes of breast pain. Breast tenderness during times of hormone fluctuations (i.e., periods, pregnancy, or menopause) are normal and should subside. Rashes on the nipples and dimpling of the breast skin should be checked out immediately.

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

Stress

Alcoholism

Oral contraceptive use

Antidepressants

Mastitis

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.

5 Reasons for Breast Pain or Tenderness

Breast pain can be a difficult issue to tackle for many women, but avoiding caffeine, changing birth control, or figuring out what other changes might help alleviate symptoms is a good place to start. Keep reading to find out more about the different causes of breast pain and the methods to treat it.

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.

Breast Swelling and Tenderness

Breast tenderness and swelling are symptoms that can have many causes. Lifestyle changes, such as wearing certain clothing and cutting out salt or caffeine can help, as can various medications. Read the article on the topic to find out more about breast swelling and tenderness.

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.

How to Cope with Breast Pain

Breast pain affects nearly two-thirds of women at some point, and is primarily caused by hormone fluctuations, especially during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. There are several ways to cope with breast pain, like exercising regularly, eating healthy, applying home remedies, and reducing stress.

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.
Updated on January 30th, 2015
Should I Talk to My Doctor about Menopausal Breast Pain?
Breast pain, or mastalgia, is defined by an overall feeling of discomfort, soreness, or aching in one or both breasts...
Updated on January 23th, 2015
Breast Pain during Premenopause: Is That Normal?
Breast pain is a common complaint among women, affecting around 70% of women at some point in their lives...
Updated on December 17th, 2014
Is Breast Pain a Side Effect of Hormonal Fluctuations?
Breast pain, also known as mastalgia, refers to any feelings of discomfort, tenderness, or...
Updated on October 17th, 2014
Why Are My Breasts Swollen?
Breast swelling refers to the enlargement of one or both breasts, typically accompanied by soreness or pain. A sensation of breast swelling and...
Updated on October 6th, 2014
Breast Pain After Menopause
Some may not realize just how much breast pain can disrupt your life. It can get to the point where even slight movement can cause...
Updated on September 24th, 2014
Breast Pain during Postmenopause FAQs
Breast pain, also known as mastalgia, occurs for different women at different points of their lives. Whether you are...
Updated on September 15th, 2014
Is Breast Pain a Symptom of Menopause?
Breast pain can be a frustrating symptom. To deal with pain on a regular basis can be exhausting and agitate your body and...
Updated on September 8th, 2014
Why Do I Have Breast Tenderness during Menopause?
The most common cause of breast tenderness during menopause is hormone fluctuations...
Other Articles for Breast Pain:
Menopause - Pregnancy - Menstruation - Severe - PMS - Pregnant