Breast pain before periods must be a disturbing situation for every woman – Learn the easiest ways to get relief now! Menstruation causes many bothersome symptoms each month, but one of the most bothersome has to be breast pain.
Breast pain can occur just before your period, during your period, or almost at any point during your period. Your breasts may feel sore, heavy, tender, and uncomfortable, and may even interfere with your daily activities or make it difficult for you to sleep.
According to reported research, The most common type of breast pain is related to the menstrual cycle. It’s almost always hormonal. Some women start experiencing pain around ovulation. The pain continues until the menstrual cycle begins.
Explore the Reasons behind it…
Premenstrual breast swelling and tenderness is known as ‘periodic breast pain’ or ‘Cyclical Mastalgia’ and is very common in people with periods suffering from PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
At the end of and during the menstrual cycle, the ratio of the two reproductive hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, changes. According to published research, “at this point, estrogen drops to its lowest levels in the menstrual cycle, while progesterone is still fairly high, causing fluid movement and soreness in the breast.”
Estrogen dilates the ducts, while progesterone swells the mammary glands, making the breasts lumpy, swollen, soft, and heavy. This hormone also promotes the retention of extra water in the breasts and abdomen, causing your breasts to swell and become painful.
Attention: If you experience intense breast pain before periods, it could be a sign of fibrocystic breast disease. It causes the breasts to become sore and lumpy before menstruation. The lump can be large and can be moved when pushed, but usually disappears after menstruation is over. If the pain doesn’t stop after menstruation, you should immediately see your doctor.
Could be other reasons as well…
Breast pain before periods can also occur as a result of other factors, including:
- Clogged milk ducts
- Mastitis – a condition related to the inflammation or infection of breasts, most commonly occurring in breastfeeding mothers
- Fibrocystic breast tissue – which makes the breasts dense and lumpy and can be more painful around menstruation
- Big and heavy breasts
- History of breast surgery
- Hormone therapy
Breast cancer can sometimes cause breast pain, but this is infrequent because the disease grows slowly and tends to show other symptoms before pain develops. You can consult to an oncologist if you have any symptoms of breast pain.
Also read: A Lump in Breast is not Always a Cancer
What is the Permanent Solution?
How to get relief from breast pain before periods? Here are some tips to follow.
Intake of Vitamins and Minerals
According to the Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, certain vitamins like vitamin B6, vitamin E, and magnesium can help to reduce premenstrual symptoms.
A study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research investigated that the use of vitamin E and vitamin B6 is very helpful for breast pain. ‘Vitamin E plays a vital role in reducing breast pain by effectively helping to reduce inflammation’.
According to reported research, magnesium helps maintain healthy hormone levels, which can reduce breast tenderness, and serotonin, which modulates our perception of pain.
Furthermore, it helps maintain normal fluid balance, which also eases breast tenderness.
Say NO to Salt and Caffeine
Snacks like potato chips are the most commonly craved food items during your period, but you may want to consider avoiding them.
A study published in a journal found that high salt intake was associated with increased breast pain as salt increases fluid retention, making the breasts feel heavy.
Many healthcare providers recommend that people experiencing PMS should reduce their caffeine intake, as this stimulant is known to exacerbate the symptoms.
Instead, you should eat a diet high in protein, fiber, and minerals to help manage the symptoms.
Wear Sturdy Bras
Supportive, wire-free bras, like sports bras, can be your best friend during your periods.
“A perfect fitting sports bra helps keep the breasts close to the body, which inhibits breast movement, thus, reducing the pain associated with unrestricted movement,” according to 2021 reported research.
Soft bras without wires may also help. “If the breast ligaments are stretched as the size of the breast increases, a soft bra relieves the strain on the ligaments.”
A Quick Remedy: You can try primrose oil to manage the symptoms, as it contains Gamolenic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be taken orally or rubbed directly onto the breast.
Breast pain before periods – Is it an indication of pregnancy?
Let us see the key differences between breast tenderness experienced before menstruation vs. in the early phases of pregnancy:
- Breast pain as a symptom of PMS: In people who develop breast pain as part of their PMS symptoms, the pain is usually most severe just before menstruation and goes away within 1-2 days after the onset of menstruation. Read this article for help in the effective management of period pain.
- Breast pain as a symptom of pregnancy: Breast pain and heaviness last much longer in pregnant women. The pain may continue for several months, sometimes until childbirth. It is often accompanied by painful and tingling nipples and the development of blue veins on the skin of the breast.
Read Also: Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
When to see a doctor…
You should see your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- A painful lump in the breast
- Bloody or foul-smelling nipple discharge
- Breast pain lasting more than a few weeks
- Breast pain that is related to the menstrual cycle but makes it difficult to perform regular activities
- Signs of infection, such as warmth or redness of the breast or fever
Doctors usually ask about the person’s symptoms to determine what makes the pain worse or better and how long it lasts.
Premenstrual breast tenderness and swelling are frequently managed with home care and prescription medicines when needed. If lifestyle changes and medications don’t make you feel better, talk to a gynecologist about your condition.
1. Why does my breast get bigger during periods?
Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle may lead to breast swelling. More estrogen is released early in the cycle and it peaks just before mid-cycle. This causes the breast ducts to grow in size. The progesterone level peaks near the 21st day (in a 28-day cycle).
2. Should you check your breasts during your period?
Your hormone levels fluctuate each month during your menstrual cycle, which causes changes in breast tissue. Swelling begins to decrease when your period starts. The best time to perform a self-exam for breast awareness is usually the week after your period ends.