We all know what period pain feels like. Discomforting to say the least. However, breast soreness makes things even worse. Wouldn't you agree? But why do breasts pain?
Breast soreness can be categorized into two types; Cyclical and Non-Cyclical.
Cyclical- Cyclical pain is directly related to hormones in the body. Experts say that ⅔ of women facing breast pain have cyclical breast pain. It is common among women aged between 20-30 years.
Non-Cyclical- Usually affecting only one breast, this type is not related to the menstrual cycle. It follows an unusual pattern. This is caused due to illness, injury, cyst, medication, surgery, etc.
Why Are My Boobs Sore After Period?
Have you ever asked yourself, "why do my breasts hurt and feel heavy?" Or exclaimed- "I got my period but my breasts are still sore!" Let us tell you why.
A woman’s body undergoes several changes during the menstrual cycle - cramps, bloating, tenderness, etc. Many women experience breast pain and tenderness during this period, known as mastalgia or cyclical breast pain. This often leads to sore breasts during period.
Usually, cyclical pain subsides once the period gets over. However, some women also experience sore breasts after their periods. So what do you do when your breasts are still sore after period ends?
Breast pain after period can have several reasons like hormonal imbalance. Menstruation increases estrogen secretion in the early stage of the cycle, causing hormonal imbalance. This affects the milk ducts of the breast, thus resulting in boobs tenderness after periods.
This could also lead to sore nipples- meaning that they hurt generally, to the touch, and when you wear clothes.
Causes of Breast Pain After Period
To answer, why does breast pain occur? Below are some of the reasons that may cause breast pain.
Pregnancy May Cause Breast Pain:
Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in a woman’s body leading to breast tenderness. About 76% of women claimed to have experienced breast pain in their first trimester. During the early months of pregnancy, women may experience breast pain and spotting.
If you are wondering, “Why are my boobs hurting after my period?” Take a pregnancy test.
Also Read: How to increase Breast Milk during Pregnancy
Breast Pain due to Medication:
Medication side-effects include sore breasts during periods or after a period. Certain medications like Fluoxetine antidepressants have been found to have a direct relation with Breast Ecchymosis -a disease that can cause severe breast pain.
Other medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and contraceptive pills can also lead to breast pain.
Apart from that, hormone replacement therapy can set off cyclic breast pain.
Injury is Responsible for Breast Pain:
Research shows that injury due to repeat tasks or an accident can affect your pectoralis major muscle. The muscle is located near the armpit region. Blow to these muscles can cause pain under left breast, the right one, or even the overall chest area.
Mastitis Can Lead to Breast Pain:
Mastitis is a breast infection among breastfeeding women that causes breast pain. It shows symptoms like swelling, redness, pain in one or both breasts. Here, the bacteria enters a cracked or sore nipple resulting in inflamed breast tissue.
Thrush Can Cause Breast Pain:
It is caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans, a common bloodstream bacteria. Sometimes, this bacteria multiplies uncontrollably, causing severe infection and tender breasts.
Breast Cysts can Cause Breast Pain:
Cysts are abnormal sac-like growth filled with fluid which can cause breast pain. It may leave you perplexed why your breasts are still sore after the period ends. 10% of the women complaining of tender boobs are diagnosed with breast cysts.
Cancer Causing Breast Pain:
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Indian women. At the early stage of cancer, pain is rarely felt/seen. However, as the tumor grows bigger and spreads into healthy tissues, it can cause pain. Breast pain is generally one of the first symptoms of breast cancer.
Referred Breast Pain:
Some medical conditions like Costochondritis, acidity, and gall bladder stone can cause shooting pain in the near breast region but are not breast pains technically.
Other Common Causes:
- Large and heavy breasts can stretch breast tissues (called Cooper’s Ligament), resulting in sore breasts.
- A sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet can lead to breast pain. Studies claim that high consumption of fatty food, caffeine, and smoking can cause breast tenderness.
- Scarring from a prior biopsy (sample of tissue taken from the body for medical examination) can also sometimes cause pain in the region.
Also Read: Foods to Induce Periods
Home remedies for breast pain
What are some home remedies you can try for breast pain before your period? Read on to find out:
Massaging breasts in the shower
Massaging your breasts in the shower helps considerably. This helps save the time you would spend getting your hands on oil and devoting time every day for this activity. The soap with make your movements smooth. How should you go about it? Massage from the centre of your your chest, outwards to your armpits. This practice effectively enhances blood circulation and drains the fluid that transports infection-fighting agents through your body, also known as lymph.
Apply ice for breast pain
A cold compress is great for minimizing any swelling if there is any, also helping to dull breast pain. How long should you do it for? About 10 minutes daily.
Minimize fat intake for breast pain
Getting lesser than 30% of your calories from fat should be your aim. Why? Data has correlated low-fat diets with less amounts of breast pain.
Increase fibre intake for breast pain
A study conducted by the prestigious Tufts University found that diets high in fibre helped secrete more estrogen in the body that helped with breast tenderness. Lentils, legumes, vegetables and fruits are your best fibre options in your diet.
Track sodium consumption for breast pain
High amounts of sodium in your body means water retention in your breasts that could cause them to swell. Make sure you track your salt intake at least 14 days prior to your period to avoid any trouble. The recommended amount of salt an adult woman should consume daily is no more than 6 gms.
Pain in the breasts is a common issue that many women face. Research shows that 60-70% of the women’s population will experience sore breasts at some point. However, not all of them visit a professional to seek help. It is vital to seek medical consultation if the pain is unbearable or notice any other abnormality.
What part of the breast hurts in early pregnancy?
Breast nipples are the most common area that hurts during early pregnancy. Numerous women may find it discomforting while drying their chest off with a towel post a shower. It could even hurt to wear a bra or any other clothing item. Feel free to keep yourself comfortable during this time as this pain typically passes within a couple of weeks. Moreover, the area of pain may also vary from woman to woman.
How to reduce breast pain before period?
Make sure you avoid coffee, stick to a diet that is low in fats, exercise daily, wear a well-fitting bra, and watch your salt intake about 14 days before your period is to begin.
Why does my breast hurt when I lay down?
Your breasts are likely to be hurting when you lay down is because your period may be due soon. If your period has passed, the pain could be due to certain medication, development of cysts, cancer-causing pains, or injury. If your breast pain is severe, we urge you to visit a gynaecologist at the earliest.
Does pressing breasts cause sagging?
No. However, if you do not wear a well-fitted bra your breasts may move about too freely causing a stretch in their Cooper's ligaments, resulting in sagging.
Is there any massage to get periods immediately?
Lie down on your bed and gently massage your lower abdomen in counter-clock motions. What does this do? This does not necessarily mean your period will be induced. However, this massage does facilitate healthy blood circulation in your uterus and ovaries, all the way to your Fallopian tubes.
Also Read: How to Get Periods Immediately in PCOS Naturally
Is pressing breasts good for health?
Yes. Believe it or not, a recent study conducted does prove that pressing breasts can prevent cancer. Mechanical force was deemed actively helpful in arresting the growth of cancer cells. Having said that, make sure you don't press too hard so as to not hurt yourself.
Evsen Nazik, Gulsen Eryilmaz. (2014) Incidence of pregnancy-related discomforts and management approaches to relieve them among pregnant women. (National Library of Medicine) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24028734/
Claudia Spampinato, Darío Leonardi. (2013) Candida Infections, Causes, Targets, and Resistance Mechanisms: Traditional and Alternative Antifungal Agents. (U.S. National Library of Medicine) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3708393/
Saul Grullon, Samuel Bechmann. (2020) Mastodynia. (NCBI) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559249/