It is normal for women to have 2-3 days of mild breast pain just before their menstrual period. It normally settles with the onset of period flow. Some women have pain severe enough to interfere with their normal activities. They may not feel comfortable even with a slight touch to the breast.
There are 2 main types of breast pain:
- Cyclical – The pain is linked to the menstrual cycle. It is common in women in their reproductive years and may disappear after menopause.
- Non-cyclical – The pain does not change with the menstrual period. It may be there all the time or it may come and go without a pattern. It is less common and it occurs in older women.
Some women may complain of pain not in the breast but in the muscles ligaments and bones in the chest wall. This is not linked to the breast pain. The cause of breast pain is not known but it may be due to hormonal changes.Also Fibrocystic changes in the breast, cysts in the breast and inflammation can
cause pain in the breast.
What can be done for the breast pain?
It is important to have a complete examination of the breast to ensure all is well. One should wear a bra that gives good firm support and is of correct size.Points one needs to follow to ensure that the bra fits well.
- Strap in the back is not sliding up
- Shoulder-straps are firm enough to hold breast up but do not dig into the skin.
- Breast is not bulging out of cups
- There are no bulges at armpits
- Underwire fits snugly at the base of the breast but does not cut into the skin.
- Finger can be slipped comfortably under band beneath cups
Various vitamins such as E and B6 have been tried with mixed results. Evening primrose oil is the most popular medication used in treatment of breast pain. Flaxseed is commonly tried by women as a natural supplement. There is a common myth that caffeine causes breast pain. This is not true.
The birth control pill may cause breast pain, increase or decrease it. The breast pain may occur in the first few weeks of starting the pill. It usually settles in one or two cycles. If it persists, then just changing the brand or taking a pill with a lower ose is enough. The same also applies to hormone replacement therapy. If you have breast pain then make an appointment today with Dr Sangeeta and get a complete check done. Sometimes just wearing the correct size bra can help. Vitamins and natural supplements can also bring substantial relief.