Breast Tenderness during Menstruation

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A lot of women experience breast tenderness during menstrual periods. Breast tenderness can disrupt daily life, and it can worsen if not given the necessary attention. Therefore, it is important to understand breast tenderness in order to deal with it effectively. The following article provides useful and important information about breast tenderness during menstrual periods.

Breast tenderness is pain, soreness, or any discomfort in the breasts. It is also generally associated with swelling.

A certain degree of breast tenderness is normal during menstruation, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Only very rarely does it indicate an underlying condition that would require medical attention.

Quick Facts

Breast tenderness during menstruation is caused by fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly estrogen.

Two out of three women will experience breast tenderness during menstruation at some point of their lives.

Changes in lifestyle can help prevent or alleviate breast tenderness.

What Causes Breast Tenderness during Menstruation?

Breast tenderness during menstrual periods can be caused by various factors. Unbalanced levels of estrogen and progesterone are the main cause of cyclical breast tenderness – that is, pain that consistently accompanies menstruation.

On the other hand, non-cyclical breast tenderness is either constant or doesn't follow a regular pattern, and is therefore unrelated to menstruation. This type of breast tenderness may have a completely different underlying cause.

The major cause of breast tenderness during menstruation is hormonal imbalance. Normally, when estrogen is down and progesterone is up, breasts begin to retain fluids, and therefore get slightly bigger and may feel swollen and tender. This means that once normal hormone levels are resumed, the symptom goes away.

Because the most common cause of cyclical breast tenderness is hormonal imbalance, maintaining an overall healthy endocrine system will be the key to preventing and treating it.

What to Do about Breast Tenderness

As hormonal imbalance is the most likely cause of breast tenderness during menstrual periods, the first step is to ensure your body has the support it needs to maintain good hormone levels.

Menopause breast tenderness

It's important to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes things such as:

Exercising regularly

Wearing a bra that is the right size and offers proper support

Reducing consumption of caffeine and alcohol

Eating more fresh fruit, vegetables, and fiber

A healthy lifestyle helps prevent breast tenderness during menstrual periods, as it will help the endocrine system regulate itself properly. Click on the link below to learn more about the different treatments available for breast tenderness during menstruation.

  • Breast cancer care. (2015). Breast pain. Retrieved July 9, 2015, from