All about each symptom of menopause
women going through menopause

3 Habits That Trigger Breast Pain

Breast pain is not uncommon, with about two thirds of women experiencing it at some point in their lifetime. The pain can come in many forms, from a slight tenderness when the breast is touched to an intense sharp or burning pain. Sometimes the pain is constant and other times it occurs only every now and then. The causes of breast pain are numerous, and can range from hormonal factors to injury around the breast. Read on to discover some common habits that are known to trigger breast pain.

3 Habits That Trigger Breast Pain

Too Much Caffeine

Many women find that increased consumption of caffeine can cause or worsen breast pain. In fact, there are even some studies that have shown that women who limit consumption experience less pain in the chest area. However, there is no agreed consensus on why this is the case. One theory claims caffeine leads directly to breast pain because of its known link with raised cortisol levels, which react with female sex hormones. As hormone fluctuations are one of the main causes of breast pain, this could explain the reason some women find a reduction in the consumption of caffeine actually helps.


Wearing an Ill-fitting Bra

Research suggests that most women are actually wearing a bra that is either too big or too small, and this has actually been shown to cause not only breast pain, but also other body discomforts, such as spinal pain, too. Sufficient breast support is especially important in women with a larger chest size, as the strain on the surrounding muscles if there is too much stress on the breasts can lead to musculoskeletal discomfort and prevent women from taking part in physical activity. Taking the time to get properly measured and fitted could drastically reduce your instances of breast pain.


Sedentary Lifestyle

Regular exercise is an essential tool in the fight against breast pain. Research suggests that women who engage in strenuous exercise are 50% less likely to experience breast discomfort in the long run. The reason for this is that physical activity leads to stabilized blood sugar and hormone levels. In addition, higher weight has been shown to be a risk factor in developing breast pain, and as those who have a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to be overweight, which is another reason lack of exercise can lead to breast discomfort.

Breast pain can inhibit women from doing things they enjoy, such as sports, and it can also be an irritating addition to daily life. The aforementioned habits are a few examples of what is likely to trigger breast pain, but is not an exhaustive list. It is important to work out your own individual triggers so that you are able to avoid them and thus reduce the instances of breast discomfort in the future.

Does Birth Control Lead to Breast Tenderness or Pain?

Birth control pills are perfectly safe to take, but they can cause some side effects, such as breast tenderness or breast pain. Click here to read more.

Q&A: How Does a Hormonal Imbalance Lead to Breast Pain?

Breast pain is a common symptom of menopause and is likely to affect 70% of women. Read on to find out more about breast pain.

6 Causes to Consider for Sudden Breast Pain

Excessive alcohol and stress are some causes of sudden breast pain. It's crucial to be aware of your lifestyle and diet to pinpoint possible triggers.

  • Breast Cancer Care. (2012). Breast Pain. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from
  • Crandall, C.J. et al. (2010). Predictors of Breast Discomfort among Women Initiating Menopausal Hormone Therapy. Menopause, 17(3), 462-470. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181c29e68
  • McGhee, D.E. & Steele, J.R. (2010). Optimising breast support in female patients through correct bra fit. A cross-sectional study. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 13(6), 586-572. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2010.03.003
  • National Institutes of Health. (2012). Breast - premenstrual tenderness and swelling. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from
  • Russell, L.C. (1989). Caffeine restriction as initial treatment for breast pain. The Nurse practitioner, 14(2), 36-37, 40. Retrieved from
  • Spencer, L. & Briffa, K. (2013). Breast size, thoracic kyphosis & thoracic spine pain - association & relevance of bra fitting in post-menopausal women: a correlational study. Chiropractic & manual therapies, 21(1), 20. doi: 10.1186/2045-709X-21-20
  • Sutter Health CPMC. (2014). Breast Pain. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. (2012). Breast pain. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from