For many of us, when we think of breast health, we automatically think of breast cancer. However, there are several conditions beyond breast cancer that may cause pain and discomfort in our breasts besides cancerous tumors. Keep reading to find out more about several underlying causes of breast pain.
Hormonal changes are the number one cause of breast pain. Typically, breasts become tender and sore for about three to five days before the start of the menstrual period and return to normal once menstruation begins. This is a result of increased levels of estrogen and progesterone just before your period, which can cause breast swelling and sensitivity.
Breast soreness and tenderness is one of the first indicators of pregnancy. This discomfort is often due to the rise of hormones during the first trimester. It is not uncommon for new mothers to experience discomfort while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding women are susceptible to breast infection, which includes fever and pain or swelling of the breasts. However, it is possible for women who are not breastfeeding to contract infection as well.
Prescribed medications can cause breast pain as a side effect. Some examples of these medications include birth control pills, infertility medications, and Chlorpromazine, which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions.
Breast tissue is susceptible to injury like any other part of the body. Trauma to the breast can cause swelling and bruising. Furthermore, pulled muscles of the chest wall and rib injury can also cause breast discomfort.
Without proper support, the ligaments of the breast can become overstretched, resulting in pain. This may be especially noticeable during exercise. Make sure your bra is the correct size and provides good support.
Benign breast lumps
- Common benign (non-cancerous) lumps include the following:
- Cysts, which are sacs filled with fluid as a result of blocked breast glands. These can be drained, or resolved without treatment.
- Fibroadenomas are painless lumps common in women in their 20s and 30s.
- Galactocele-These are typically fluid-filled lumps that often result from a clogged milk duct.
There are a variety of reasons why you may feel breast discomfort besides breast cancer. While not all breast lumps are cancerous, it is always necessary to present these lumps to your provider. At Trust.
Women’s Healthcare, we provide comprehensive breast examinations and will help you navigate your breast pain. Do not hesitate, schedule an appointment with us.
- John Hopkins Medicine. Breast Pain: 10 Reasons Your Breasts May Hurt. Published November 1, 2022. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/breast-pain-10-reasons-your-breasts-may-hurt