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Breast pain can be caused by a variety of factors. Two of the most common causes are hormone fluctuations and fibrocystic (lumpy) breasts. Hormone fluctuations A woman’s menstrual cycle causes hormone fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones can cause a woman’s breasts to feel swollen, lumpy, and sometimes painful. Women sometimes report that this pain gets worse as they get older due to increased sensitivity to hormones as a woman ages. Sometimes, women who experience menstrual-related pain won’t have the pain after menopause. If breast pain is due to hormone fluctuations, you will usually notice the pain getting worse two to three days before your period. Sometimes the pain will continue throughout your menstrual cycle. To determine whether your breast pain is linked to your menstrual cycle, keep a log of your periods and note when you experience pain throughout the month. After a cycle or two, a pattern may become clear. Developmental periods that affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and potentially cause breast pain include: - Puberty - Pregnancy - Menopause Breast cysts As a woman ages, her breasts experience changes known as involution. This is when breast tissue is replaced by fat. A side effect of this is the development of cysts and more fibrous tissue. These are known as fibrocystic changes or fibrocystic breast tissue. While fibrocystic breasts don’t always cause pain, they can. These changes aren’t usually cause for concern. Fibrocystic breasts can feel lumpy and can increase tenderness. This most usually occurs in the upper and outer portions of the breasts. The lumps can also enlarge in size around the time of your menstrual cycle.
Hi Fabiola. There are many causes of Breast pain also called mastalgia. Most common cases are pretty harmless and occur in over 75% of women. It could be due normal hormonal changes associated with your menstrual cycle, or may be due to some other problem within the breast such as fibrocystic disease. It would be really helpful if you could provide us with more details on your age, nature and timing of pain, relationship to menstruation, presence of any lumps in your breasts etc. I would recommend you do the following: 1. make a diary to note when you feel the pain and whether there is any relationship to your menses. This will be really helpful in trying to figure out the cause of your breast pain 2. get either a breast ultrasound or mammogram done just to be sure we are not missing anything sinister.This is highly unlikely but just to be safe (the specific test will be based on your age). Meanwhile I would recommend the following remedies that d 3. try wearing a well fitting bra such as a sports bra as well as use ice packs or heat packs when you feel discomfort. 4. You may try some over the counter remedies such as evening primrose oil daily for about 3 months or paracetamol when you feel the pain, or apply a Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory cream such as Diclofenac gel to the affected breast. Hope this information is useful and please do not hesitate to get in touch. Dr Shahin.