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The Most Common Breast Pain Symptoms

Breast pain is a common menopause symptom, and it should not be a cause for concern or alarm. Some women experience breast pain symptoms during premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which may worsen during the menopause transition, while others only begin experiencing it in menopause. It's helpful to be aware of what kinds of symptoms to expect so that you can be prepared. Below is a list of symptoms and effects associated with breast pain.

The Most Common Breast Pain Symptoms


Many middle-aged women experience swelling, which can lead to an increase in breast size. Breasts can become heavy, or you may notice your bras don't fit properly. Keeping one bra that is in a larger size or a stretchy, comfortable sports bra ready for these days can be helpful.


When soreness occurs, it can cause an almost tight feeling in certain areas of the breast. Sometimes, the nipple or the areola surrounding the nipple can become very sore. The pain can shift from area to area and become more intense during certain parts of the day. Likewise, the pinching feeling can sometimes transform into a tingling sensation in breasts.


This is probably the most common breast pain symptom of all. Breast tenderness can range in intensity from mild to excruciating, which can be highly disruptive during daily life. When severe, even the slightest contact, such as putting on a shirt or bra, can cause pain. Walking and running can also cause tenderness, especially if you are wearing a less supportive bra.

Sharp Sensation

This typically feels like a sharp pain in the breasts, sometimes described as an electric shock feeling. It usually affects random areas on the front or side of the breast. Because this is often quite sudden and unprovoked, it can be startling and confusing, as well as distracting if it occurs while preforming daily tasks.

Armpit Throbbing

Sometimes, breast pain can travel all the way to your armpit. You may feel it in the center or the crease in the front. The throbbing sensation usually persists for a while and can sometimes culminate in moments of sharp, stabbing pain.

More Information

Although annoying and sometimes disruptive, these symptoms are extremely common, especially during PMS and menopause. However, if your breast pain worsens or persists, you develop a lump, notice discharge, or experience a fever, then you should see a doctor immediately. Read more information on the different treatments for breast pain.

How to Cope with Breast Pain

Home remedies like cold compresses and warm baths can help you cope with breast pain caused by hormone fluctuations.

Symptoms of Breast Tenderness

Women experience hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle and menopause, which can cause breast tenderness. Read on to learn more.

Right Breast Pain

Breast pain is fairly common. Women can often feel pain in their right breast, and this is usually connected to their menstrual cycle. Click here to learn more

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  • NYU Langone Medical Center. (2013). Cyclic Mastalgia. Retrieved April 2, 2014, from