If you’ve ever had pain or discomfort in your breasts, you’re not alone. While it can be troubling, it’s important to remember that this is a common issue for women of all ages. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 10-20% of women experience breast pain.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to help alleviate breast pain or stop it from happening in the first place! Here are seven common reasons why your breasts hurt, plus tips on how to deal with them.
#1 You’re Wearing the Wrong Size Bra
Wearing the right size bra minimizes the stress on your back, shoulders, and neck, which can relieve breast pain. A too-tight or too-loose band ripples through the cups, creating bulges and wrinkling that don’t exist when you’re wearing a correctly fitting bra.
In addition, when a band is too tight or loose, it puts strain on the straps. If they are too short, they may dig into your shoulders and cause discomfort.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the band fits snugly but not tight against your body. You should be able to fit two fingers between it and your skin. That allows for some stretch but not so much that it feels constricting. Finally, ensure that when you lift both arms above shoulder level, there is no slippage in either direction.
#2 PMS or a Change in Your Menstrual Cycle
Breast pain is typically caused by a change in hormone levels, and PMS is one of the most common culprits. During this time, your estrogen levels drop, and progesterone increases, leading to tenderness and aching breasts. Menopause symptoms like hot flashes also often include breast swelling and discomfort. Pregnancy, too, can cause painful breasts because of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to the area.
Experts often suggest taking supplements for fibrocystic breast conditions. They help reduce breast pain and ensure a more soothing experience, even during menstrual cycles. In most cases, the supplement dosage lasts for two months. However, it might vary depending on your condition. So, seek advice from your doctor regarding this.
If you’re on medication, it’s vital to be aware of any side effects. Some common culprits include birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and anti-seizure medications. If you’re experiencing breast pain while taking one of these medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about switching to a different brand.
If you’ve been through a medical procedure recently and are dealing with breast pain as a result, ask your doctor if there are any options for relieving the discomfort. Massage or exercise therapies are common solutions doctors suggest. However, there can be other medications that can help relieve pain too.
#4 Your Physical Activity Level
There has been a lot of buzz lately about the benefits of exercise. From improving cardiovascular health to reducing stress, it’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. However, if you’re already experiencing breast pain or discomfort and add in a tough workout schedule, you may find yourself hurting even more.
The first thing to consider is whether or not your breast pain is directly related to exercise. If you have an infection in your breasts, inflammation from nipple stimulation during breastfeeding or pumping, or sensitive tissue due to implants, the soreness may be worse when exercising. That is because of increased blood flow and friction against the skin when moving around.
If this is the case for you, there are ways to reduce pain during workouts. Try switching up your routine with gentler exercises like walking rather than running. Avoid taking deep breaths while exercising, as this can cause friction between tissues. Also, wearing a sports bra during high-intensity activities can be helpful.
Keep workout clothes loose, so they don’t rub against sensitive areas, and use ice packs after workouts. Doing all these things will allow you to carry on with your workout sessions without increasing the pain in your breasts.
Breastfeeding can be painful, especially in the beginning. This is normal and natural, as your infant’s gums are soft and his or her teeth haven’t come in yet. Your breasts may ache from the frequent sucking. As your baby grows up, he or she will learn to suck more gently on the nipple, which should help with any breast pain you might be experiencing at that time.
#6 Lumps or Cysts
If you have a lump or cyst, it can be painful. You should see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical condition that may be causing the pain. Some conditions cause cancer in women and could potentially be causing your breast pain. Therefore, if you notice any lumps or cysts on your breasts, it is important to make sure they are not cancerous by having them checked out by a professional.
The more you know about your specific symptoms, the better equipped you’ll be to diagnose and treat them. So, keep these points in mind, and the next time you feel breast pain, remember to act accordingly.