Breast Tenderness FAQs

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Breast Tenderness FAQs

Breast tenderness is a somewhat uncomfortable and annoying problem to have to contend with, but nonetheless almost all women will experience it more than once throughout their lifetime. When and if this condition arises, you might have some concerns regarding some of the reasons for breast tenderness, and whether or not you need to be worried. Read on to improve your knowledge about this common problem, and to find out about some of the ways that many women cope with it.

Why Does Pregnancy Cause Tender Breasts?

Tender breasts are a fairly well-known, early sign of pregnancy. As well as physical changes such as increased size, pronounced veins, or darkened nipples, the breasts might become slightly sore and tender. These changes are due to the hormonal activity that happens with pregnancy, which affects the composition of breast tissue and increases blood flow to the area.

Why Do My Breasts Become Tender Before My Period?

During the menstrual years, the reproductive hormones fluctuate, which has a number of different effects on the body. As with pregnancy, the hormonal changes interact with the breast tissue, and can cause heightened sensitivity. In some women, this can present itself in the form of breast tenderness and pain. This phenomenon is known as cyclical mastalgia, and it usually occurs between 3 - 5 days before the period starts, although for some women it can begin up to two weeks before - around mid-cycle.

Is it Normal for Only One Breast to Be Tender?

Every women is different, and for some it is possible to encounter just one tender breast, rather than both. This is perfectly normal, and does not mean that there is a problem or complication with your hormonal or bodily functions. In addition to breast pain and tenderness, sometimes the sensation can spread to the rest of the chest, underarms, or maybe even the neck. Again, this is perfectly normal and rarely warrants concern.

What Can I Do about Tender Breasts?

Depending on the severity of the situation, you may wish to explore different coping mechanisms and preventative measures. There are a plethora of options out there, and so it might take some time and patience to discover which works best for you. The most successful methods known include:

  • Anti-inflammatories. Whether in the form of a tablet, or topical lotion, many women benefit from the use of anti-inflammatory medication for reducing their breast tenderness. These are often available over-the-counter, so it is easy to buy and try out a few of the different options.
  • Consider your underwear. Finding a bra that provides adequate comfort and support can be largely proficient in alleviating tender breasts, or some women prefer to avoid wearing one during the days that they suffer with this condition.
  • Hormone-affecting medication. Talk to your doctor about different oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and other medications designed to mediate the activity or hormones. These can be helpful for encouraging balance, thereby decreasing pain.

Many women encounter this problem, and find themselves looking for the possible reasons for breast tenderness. By learning a little about what can cause it, you are more likely to be able to find a successful treatment or management technique.

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