Breast pain is a common experience among most women, which can usually be treated easily, but sometimes it may indicate a more serious condition. In this article, Nadine Woods, who has over 12 years of experience in postpartum breast health, discusses the common causes of breast pain, their treatments, and when to seek medical attention.
1. Hormonal fluctuations can cause breast soreness.
The primary reason for breast pain in women is hormonal fluctuations. The breasts may become sore up to 10 days before the menstrual cycle begins and stop hurting after it starts. The increase in estrogen and progesterone just before the period causes breast swelling, leading to tenderness. Breast tenderness is also a common early sign of pregnancy and can occur during menopause. To reduce the soreness, one can eliminate caffeine, eat a low-fat diet, reduce salt intake, avoid smoking, take over-the-counter pain relievers, or consult a doctor about switching birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy medications.
2. Breast injury can cause pain.
Breasts can get injured like any other part of the body due to an accident, sports activity, or surgery. Typically, there is sharp, shooting pain at the time of injury, and tenderness can last for a few days up to several weeks. However, if the pain persists or any of the following signs appear, one should see a doctor:
- Severe swelling
- Lump in the breast
- Redness and warmth, which may indicate an infection
- Bruise on the breast that doesn't go away
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