Breast Pain Before Period: Causes and Remedies

Have you ever experienced an aching sensation in your breasts before your period arrives?

If so, you’re not alone! Breast pain before your menstrual cycle is a common occurrence – and it can range from mild discomfort to severe aches.

In this blog, we’ll explore the causes of breast pain that is often experienced before period and provide you with some helpful relief tips that can help you manage this common issue.

Let’s get started!

Overview of Breast Pain Before Periods

If you experience tenderness and pain in your chest right before your period, you’re not alone. Breast pain before your menstrual cycle is part of a condition called cyclical mastalgia or premenstrual breast pain which affects about 60 percent of women.

The most common type of breast pain is known as cyclical breast pain, which occurs during the weeks leading up to your period. This type of discomfort is caused by premenstrual hormonal fluctuations. While it might seem like an annoying inconvenience, some simple remedies can help alleviate the severity of this symptom.

For many women, the tenderness starts shortly before their period and ends with its arrival. Symptoms vary from person to person—some women may feel discomfort only on one side or localized to a certain area of the breast, while others may feel general fullness or heaviness in their chest. You might also find that the intensity increases as your cycle progresses.

The exact cause of premenstrual breast pain is unknown, but there are several theories about why it arises, including hormonal changes and fluctuations in levels of prolactin and progesterone during the menstrual cycle.

Whatever the underlying reason may be though, learning more about what might be happening to your body can help alleviate some of the stress and fear associated with experiencing this kind of discomfort.

What Causes Breast Pain Before Periods?

Nearly 70 percent of women experience some kind of breast pain or discomfort before their periods.

Hormonal changes that happen as your body prepares for its monthly cycle can cause the ducts and tissue in your breasts to become swollen and tender. Other associated factors can also contribute to breast soreness, such as:

  1. Menstruation
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Side effects from birth control
  4. Fat tissue distribution
  5. Smoking
  6. Drinking alcohol
  7. Caffeine consumption

Furthermore, stress can also play a big role in the intensity of your breast pain. The emotional toll of stress can cause hormone levels to go off balance which can lead to increased sensitivity and discomfort in the breasts. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your mental health along with your physical health if you experience intense or unusual breast pain before each period.

These are the three types of mastalgia:

What Are the Common Symptoms of Breast Pain Before Periods?

Breast pain or tenderness before your period generally feels like a dull, heavy ache in the breast tissue. While the pain usually subsides when your period ends, its intensity can vary from person to person.

Besides the general ache, here are the other symptoms you may experience with this type of breast pain:

1. Swelling and Tenderness

You may notice that your breasts feel swollen and extra tender to the touch. This is because hormone levels are fluctuating during this time of the month, leading to excess fluid retention in the breasts. The swelling usually decreases once your period begins.

2. Aching Pain

Aching pain is another symptom that tends to occur before your period. It usually starts up 2-3 days prior and can last until you start menstruating. The area around the nipples can be especially sensitive to touch due to the fluctuating hormones in your body.

3. Lumpiness or Thickening Around Nipples

Lumpiness or thickening of tissue around nipples can also occur with cyclical breast pain. The symptoms won’t go away until after your period has started — so don’t be alarmed!

All these symptoms are very normal; however, if any of them become persistent or worsen over time, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

How to Manage and Treat Breast Pain Before Periods?

If you’re experiencing breast pain before your periods, there are ways to manage the discomfort. Here are a few tips:

Wear a well-fitted bra: Choose one with adjustable straps and breathable fabric. This can help keep your breasts supported and reduce the amount of strain on them.

Ice packs: Apply cold compresses or ice packs to your breasts to help reduce tenderness and soreness.

Don’t wear overly tight clothing: Make sure you wear comfortable clothing, avoiding anything too tight or restrictive. Wearing loose-fitting clothes can help improve blood circulation, which in turn can provide some relief from breast pain before the period.

Exercise regularly: Exercise increases circulation and helps you maintain overall good health, which can help make breast pain less painful over time.

Massage gently with oil: Massaging your breasts gently with a little bit of oil in an outward circular motion can also help alleviate the pain associated with breast tenderness before periods. It helps soothe the tissue, improving circulation, and relieving tension build-up in the area.

These are just a few tips to help ease your discomfort due to breast pain before your period—so keep them in mind!

Natural Remedies for Breast Pain Relief

Although you might be tempted to reach for a pill if your breasts are hurting before your period, there are natural remedies that can provide relief. Here are some of the best solutions to try:

1. Cold Compress

Using a cold compress can help reduce swelling in your breasts and alleviate painful sensations. Simply use a cold pack or wrap up some ice in a thin towel and apply it over your breasts for 10-15 minutes. Do this several times a day or whenever you need relief.

2. Exercise

Getting regular exercise helps balance hormone levels, which can reduce the severity of breast pain. Aim for 30 minutes of activity six days each week at minimum, but take the intensity down a notch when your period is about to start. Opt for low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or exercising in the water.

3. Herbal Treatments

There are herbs such as fennel, red raspberry, and cramp bark that provide relief from menstrual discomfort by balancing hormones and maintaining healthy blood circulation throughout the body, which can mitigate breast pain associated with PMS symptoms. You can find these herbs at health food stores in supplement forms such as pills or teas.

When to See a Doctor for Breasts Pain?

If you’re dealing with intense breast pain before your period, it’s time to find out what’s going on. Luckily, there are some important steps you can take to figure out the cause of your breast pain.

  • Make a note of the specifics

Start by paying attention to when and where the pain occurs. Is it one-sided or both? Does it feel more like aching or sharp pains? Does the level of pain increase over time? Doing this will help you tell the difference between normal premenstrual breast tenderness and something more serious.

  • When to see your doctor?

It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor when it comes to any kind of persistent breast discomfort. You may want to schedule an appointment if:

  1. Your breasts feel lumpy or swollen
  2. The pain intensifies or changes in character
  3. You experience redness, itching, burning, or discharge from your nipples
  4. You have any other signs or symptoms that don’t seem normal for you

Your doctor will do a physical examination and run tests to help figure out if there is something else that could be causing your premenstrual breast discomfort, such as an infection or hormone imbalance. They may also be able to provide treatment options that could help alleviate your symptoms.

Hence, breast pain before a period is a common symptom that affects many women. While it can be uncomfortable, it is usually not a cause for concern. The best way to manage breast pain before your period is to get regular check-ups and follow the advice of your doctor.

Moreover, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and avoiding caffeine and cigarettes can help reduce the discomfort associated with premenstrual breast pain. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also help alleviate the discomfort.

Additionally, engaging in relaxation techniques can help reduce stress levels which can make the symptoms more bearable.

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