Breast pain, soreness or tenderness are complaints made by just about every women at one time or another during their child bearing years. Very few escape this (at least occasional) annoyance. And mastalgia is the medical term for breasts that are painful.
Cyclic breast pain is most often caused by monthly hormonal changes. It is normal for some degree of tenderness to be experienced in both breasts, that comes and goes, just before your period.
But menstruation is not the only cause for breast soreness related to hormone fluctuations. Pregnancy is another hormonal reason for the “breast painful” complaint. Although you may fear your soreness indicates cancer, breast pain is a very uncommon symptom of breast cancer.
The range of possible causes for your painful breasts are:
- breast cysts
- large breasts
- breast surgery
- soon after childbirth
- fatty acid imbalance
- fibrocystic breast changes
- alcoholism with liver damage
- mastitis ~ breast tissue infection
Certain treatments and medications can cause breast soreness as well, like:
- oral contraceptives
- infertility treatments
- digitalis ~ treats heart failure
- methyldopa ~ treats hypertension
- female hormone replacement therapy
- antidepressant ~ fluoxetine, sertraline
- chlorpromazine ~ treats psychotic disorders
- spironolactone ~ treats hyperaldosteronism, hypokalemia, edema
Sometimes, identifying the exact cause of mastalgia breast tenderness is ellusive. And should you ever experience inexplicable breast discharge call your health care provider ASAP.
Painful breasts often resolve on their own without treatment. However, there are various treatments for breast soreness and tenderness to relieve your pain:
- eliminate caffeine
- decrease dietary fat
- reduce your salt intake
- wear a bra with extra support
- adjust birth control pill dosage
- take different oral contraceptive
- use hot or cold compresses on breasts
- antibiotics for breast bacterial infection
- use evening primrose oil, vitamin E, supplements
- take an analgesic, NSAID ~ acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin if over 20 years old
A plant based nutrition,regular exercise, maintaining appropriate weight and adequate rest are the healthiest way to lessen menstrual instigated breast pain or reduce the number of these tenderly sore mastalgia occurrences.