Breast ache before period, swelling, cyclical mastalgia, or tenderness is a common cause of concern amongst women. This is part of the group of premenstrual symptoms and could signal fibrocystic breast illness. The medical term, fibrocystic breast disease is used for describing lumpy, painful breasts before the start of a woman’s menstrual period. Women who have this disease usually notice a large, benign lump In both breasts before their monthly cycle. When pushed these lumps may be felt moving and usually would shrink at the start of the period.
This breast ache varies in its severity and the symptoms arise to their peak before the cycle then it goes away immediately or during the menstrual cycle. However most times you don’t have to worry about this symptom as they are usually just what they are and not a cause of medical concern. But if you are bothered about the ache then consult a doctor. The aching breasts could be a sign of other health conditions so it is a good idea to check it out sometimes. Let’s look more into this.
Causes of Breast Ache Before Period
Fluctuating levels of hormones are the most common cause of breast ache, swelling, and tenderness before one’s menstrual period. Hormones would normally increase and decrease during a regular menstrual cycle. The timing for these hormonal fluctuations happens at different times for different women, there is no fixed time to this. The major hormones here are estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for enlarging your breast duct and progesterone produces milk, making these glands swell. These events may lead to aching or sore breasts.
Progesterone and estrogen both rise during the cycle’s second half. When the cycle is at its middles the level of estrogen would reach its peak while the level of progesterone rises during your menstruation week. Taking medications containing estrogen may also lead to breast alterations like swelling and tenderness.
Heaviness and tenderness in the breasts are both main premenstrual ache symptoms. A dull breast aching can troublesome women, the tissues of your breast could feel coarse or dense to feel. The symptoms mostly show up before the start of your period and disappear as soon as you start bleeding. Most women, however, do not experience severe pain.
In most cases, these aches affect women’s everyday activities. As a result of the changes that naturally take place in the woman’s body as she ages these premenstrual symptoms usually improve as menopause draws nearer. Premenstrual symptoms are similar to that of pregnancy so you should be sure to differentiate between both.
When To See A Doctor
Worrisome or sudden breast changes should be talked about with your health professional or doctor. Although it has been proven that most breast aches before the period are harmless, they could be warning signals to certain medical conditions or infections. Go see a doctor if you experience any of this;
- Changing or new breast lumps
- Nipple discharge particularly blood or brown
- Breast ache that interrupts your sleep or daily activities
- lumps in only one breast
Doctors would usually examine the woman and ask necessary questions including;
- Has there been any nipple discharge?
- Are you experiencing any other symptoms?
- Do you feel the ache every one of your menstrual periods?
The doctor would feel around your breast for lumps and if any is found the physical characteristics would be noted. You can also ask your doctor to explain how to perform a personal breast exam.
If there are changes that cause concern the doctor may carry out a mammogram, which is an x-ray imaging that helps to view the inner breast. How is this x-ray imaging done? Your breasts are placed in between a plastic plate and an x-ray plate then flattened or compressed creating a detailed clear image.
You might feel a temporary pinching sensation or discomfort. A biopsy may be ordered in special cases. What happens during a biopsy is that breast tissue samples are taken and tested to see if the lumps are malignant or not.
Premenstrual breast ache can be effectively treated with drugs such as acetaminophen, naproxen sodium, or ibuprofen. These medications will also ease cramping.
Women experiencing severe breast discomfort or swelling should talk to their doctor about the best treatment methods. Diuretics have also been found useful in reducing tenderness, water retention, and swelling. However, your urination might become more frequent and increase dehydration risk. Your prescriptions should be used with the doctor’s direction.
Use of birth control such as oral contraceptive pills can calm symptoms or pre-menstruation. Health care providers are usually willing to share other birth control options with women who can’t deal with their breast ache and are not considering getting pregnant anytime soon.
Some lifestyle changes can help manage your symptoms. For example, putting on a sports bra to support your breast when the symptoms worsen. You may also consider wearing a bra at nighttime for extra breast support while sleeping.
Diet also plays a part in relieving breast aches. Food, alcohol, and caffeine with a high amount of salt and fat increase discomfort. Eliminating or reducing them from your meal days before menstruation may aid in preventing or managing symptoms.
Certain minerals and vitamins also relieve premenstrual symptoms and breast pain. Women are advised to eat food rich in nutrients like spinach, peanuts, hazelnuts, olive, canola oils, safflower, corn, carrots, oat bran, bananas, brown rice, avocados, and carrots. Your doctor may also recommend some vitamin supplements for you. Exercise also improves cramps, breast aches, and fatigue connected with premenstrual symptoms.
Breast ache before the period is normal body changes that almost every woman experiences. Knowing the right way to deal with it or control this ache will go a long way in making your period life easy.