Breast pain in women is quite common. But this does not mean that this should be treated without proper attention.
Why Do Women Has Pain in Their Breast?
The breasts develop due to an increase in estrogen during the age of puberty. During the menstruation, different hormonal agents trigger changes in breast tissue that can cause pain or discomfort in some women. While breasts do not typically injure, periodic breast pain prevails.
Breast pain, likewise called mastalgia, is a common condition among women. The pain is generally classified as either cyclical or noncyclical.
Cyclical pain indicates the pain is related to your menstruation. Pain linked with the menstrual cycle tends to go away during or after your duration.
Noncyclical pain can have numerous causes, consisting of injury to the breast. In some cases, noncyclical pain can come from surrounding muscles or tissues instead of the breast itself. Noncyclical pain is much less typical than cyclical pain, and its causes can be more challenging to recognize.
Mastalgia can vary in strength from a sharp pain to a moderate tingling. Some women might experience breast inflammation, or their breasts might feel fuller than typical.
Main Causes of Breast Pain
A range of conditions can trigger breast pain. Two of the most typical causes are hormone changes and fibrocystic (lumpy) breasts.
A woman’s menstruation triggers hormone changes in estrogen and progesterone. These two hormonal agents can trigger a woman’s breasts to feel swollen, lumpy, and often painful.
Women often report that this pain becomes worse as they get older due to increased sensitivity to hormonal agents 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 changes, you will usually notice the pain worsening 2 to 3 days before your period. In some cases, the pain will continue throughout your menstrual cycle.
To identify 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 2, a pattern might become clear.
Developmental periods that impact a woman’s menstrual cycle and possibly cause breast pain include:
- the age of puberty
As a woman ages, her breasts experience changes called 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 do not always trigger pain, they can. These changes aren’t typically triggered for concern.
Fibrocystic breasts can feel lumpy and can increase inflammation. This most generally occurs in the upper and external parts of the breasts. The lumps can likewise increase the size of in size around the time of your menstrual cycle.
Breastfeeding and breast pain
Breastfeeding is a natural and healthy way to feed your infant; however, it isn’t without its pitfalls and problems. You can experience breast pain while breastfeeding for several reasons. These include:
Mastitis is an infection of your milk ducts. This can cause severe and strong pain as well as broken, itching, burning, or blistering on the nipples. Other symptoms include red streaks on the breasts, fever, and chills. Your medical professional will treat these with antibiotics.
Engorgement happens when your breasts become overfull. Your breasts will appear enlarged, and your skin will feel tight and unpleasant. If you can not feed your baby quickly, you can attempt pumping or by hand expressing your milk.
You can do this by positioning your thumb on top of your breast and your fingers below your breast. Gradually roll your fingers back versus your chest wall and forward toward your nipples to empty your breast.
If your baby isn’t latching on appropriately to your nipple, you will likely experience breast pain. Signs your baby might not be locking appropriately consist of breaking nipples and nipple soreness.
A lactation specialist at the health center where you gave birth can typically assist you to develop a much healthier lock.
Keep in mind: Breastfeeding does not have to harm. See your medical professional or call a lactation specialist if you are having difficulty breastfeeding. You can also check out La Leche League International to discover a licensed lactation specialist in your area.
Breast pain can have different reasons, consisting of:
The foods a woman consumes might add to breast pain. Women who consume unhealthy diet plans, such as those high in fat and refined carbs, may likewise be at higher risk for breast pain.
Sometimes breast pain isn’t because of your breasts, however, because of inflammation of the chest, arms, or back muscles. This is common if you’ve participated in activities such as raking, rowing, shoveling, and waterskiing.
Women with larger breasts or breasts that aren’t in percentage to their frames can experience discomfort in their necks and shoulders.
If you’ve had surgery on your breasts, pain from scar tissue development can linger after the cuts have healed.
Antidepressants, hormone treatment, antibiotics, and medications for cardiovascular disease can all add to breast pain. While you should not stop taking these medications if you have breast pain, speak with your physician if alternative choices are offered.
Smoking is known to increase epinephrine levels in the breast tissue. This can make a woman’s breasts harm. IYThealth.com team strongly recommends to quit this bad habit.
Is Breast Pain Linked to Breast Cancer?
Breast pain is not generally connected to breast cancer. Having breast pain or fibrocystic breasts does not imply you are at higher danger of developing cancer. However, bumpy tissue may make it more difficult to see tumors on a mammogram.
If you have breast pain that is localized in just one area which corresponds through the month with no changes in pain level, call your doctor. Examples of diagnostic tests can include:
- Mammogram. Doctors utilize this imaging test to determine abnormalities in your breast tissue.
- Ultrasound. An ultrasound is a scan that penetrates the breast tissue. Doctors can utilize it to recognize lumps in breast tissue without exposing a woman to radiation.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI is utilized to produce detailed images of breast tissue to recognize possibly cancerous sores.
- Biopsy. A biopsy is the removal of breast tissue so a medical professional can examine the tissue under a microscope for the presence of cancerous cells.
A physician can use these tests to identify if your breast pain might be related to cancer.
How to Deal with a Breast Pain?
Treatment will vary depending upon whether your breast pain is cyclical or noncyclical. Before treating you, your physician will consider your age, case history, and the intensity of your pain.
Treatment for cyclical pain may consist of:
- using an encouraging bra 24 hours a day when pain is at its worst
- decreasing your sodium intake
- taking calcium supplements
- taking contraceptive pills, which might help to make your hormone levels more even
- taking estrogen blockers, such as tamoxifen
- taking medications to eliminate pain, consisting of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
Treatment for noncyclical pain will depend on the reason for breast pain. As soon as the cause is determined, your medical professional will prescribe specific related therapies.
Always speak with your doctor before beginning to take any supplements to guarantee they will not interfere with the medications you’re taking or any conditions you may have.
When to see your medical professional
If your breast pain is unexpected and accompanied by chest pain, tingling, and feeling numb in your extremities, seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms can suggest cardiovascular disease.
Make an appointment to see your doctor if your pain:
- keeps you from daily activities
- lasts longer than two weeks
- accompanies a new lump that seems to get thicker
- appears to be concentrated in one specific area of your breast
- appears to become worse with time
- At your visit, you can anticipate your medical professional to ask you about your symptoms.
Concerns might include:
- When did your breast pain start?
- What makes your breast pain worse? Does anything appear to make it better?
- Do you notice the pain getting worse around the time of your menstruation?
- How would you rank the pain? What does the pain seem like?
Your doctor will likely carry out a physical examination. They might also suggest imaging tests, like a mammogram, to image your breast tissue. This might enable them to recognize cysts in your breast tissue.
If you have cystic breasts, your doctor may do a needle biopsy. This is a procedure where a thin needle is inserted into the cyst to eliminate a little sample of tissue for screening.
Used sources: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20350423, https://www.healthline.com/symptom/breast-pain, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastitis