What is the difference between breast tenderness PMS vs pregnancy? Statistics show that nearly three-quarters of women experience breast pain during their lives but less than 20% require medical treatment. There are different kinds of tenderness experienced due to favors like PMS and pregnancy. It’s important to know the difference so you can figure out whether you’re likely experiencing menstruation-related or pregnancy-related tenderness. If you’re trying to get pregnant then it’s especially critical to know the signs/symptoms so you’ll know whether or not you can expect to give birth within the next year. Meanwhile, you should also know when the breast tenderness is related to PMS since other factors could cause the tenderness besides ones related to pre-menstrual syndrome.
There are clear similarities and differences between PMS/pregnancy breast tenderness. PMS tenderness happens during the menstrual cycle’s second half and can be mild, moderate, or severe. Meanwhile, pregnancy-related tenderness often happens during the first few weeks of pregnancy and can cause breasts to feel full/heavy. Not knowing the main differences between the two types of breast tenderness can cause the patient to mistake one for the other. Meanwhile, knowing the main differences can help to provide you with the right treatments.
Breast Tenderness PMS vs Pregnancy: PMS
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) can cause breast swelling. This happens during the menstrual cycle’s second half. The fancy term for this condition is “cyclical nostalgia.” It’s quite common and is part of various PMS symptoms.
The amount of tenderness can be mild, moderate, or severe. In most cases, the most severe tenderness happens just before menstruation starts. The symptoms are usually tougher among pre-menopausal women.
PMS Breast tenderness can cause the breasts to feel dense/bumpy and mainly the outside areas. The breasts might feel tender, and full/heavy due to dull pain. Usually, the pain decreases during the menstrual cycle or right after it ends. This is due to a drop in levels of the hormone progesterone, which is one of the “female” hormones.
It’s worth noting that PMS tenderness can also be caused by something known as “fibrocystic breast disease.” FBD involves swelling/tenderness that causes breasts to become painful/lumpy. It happens before the menstrual cycle.
This condition can cause big non-cancerous breast lumps. They show up before the monthly menstruation cycle. The lumps move when a person pushes on them. They also usually shrink after the menstrual cycle ends.
The PMS-related breast tenderness usually just involves mild symptoms instead of a severe medical problem. However, it’s still important to talk to your doctor if you experience breast changes during PMS or any other time. The reason is that there are several causes of sore breasts.
The main cause of these symptoms is hormone changes during the menstrual cycle. For example, estrogen triggers breast swelling, while progesterone can cause the swelling of the milk glands. These two situations can cause sore breasts during the menstrual cycle.
These two hormones rise during the cycle’s second half. This includes day 14 to day 28 in a “regular 28-day menstrual cycle. Progesterone levels increase within one week before menstruation starts. Meanwhile, estrogen spikes during the middle of menstruation.
Breast Tenderness PMS vs Pregnancy
A woman might also experience breast changes during pregnancy. This is also due to hormonal changes. They can happen as quickly as one week after becoming pregnant. The hormone changes can last until giving birth to a baby and even afterward.
During the first trimester until week 13 of pregnancy, a woman could experience breast tenderness/discomfort. Breast tenderness is frequently one of the first signs of pregnancy. Within the first two weeks, a woman might experience sore/heavy breasts. Other common symptoms are sensitive/painful nipples.
The changes due to increased hormone levels within the body. The breast tissues also get more blood flow. After a couple of weeks, the breast tenderness/discomfort usually decreases. However, it also might come back in the pregnancy’s 2nd or 3rd trimester.
It’s quite common for a pregnant woman to have a bra size that’s 1-2 cups larger than before pregnancy. This is especially true if it’s her first pregnancy. The growth can start early during the pregnancy and continue throughout it. The breasts could also increase during breastfeeding. The fast growth can cause breasts to get itchy. This is due to stretched skin.
Then during the 2nd trimester (week 14 to week 27), there are also some other breast changes. Some examples include lumps/bumps that are related to pregnancy-related factors.
There are also breast changes during the 3rd trimester. They include ones like larger breasts and stretch marks. These are normal changes that happen during time.
It’s also worth noting the breast changes happen during pregnancy so the baby can feed. It’s also possible for pregnant women not to experience major changes during their pregnancy. This doesn’t mean shells have problems with milk production or breastfeeding.
As always, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you have questions/concerns about changes to your breasts during pregnancy. He/She can then explain the situation.
Breast Tenderness PMS vs. Pregnancy: Home Remedies
OTC Pain Reliever
Tylenol, Advil, and others are good options. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor about which ones are best and how much to take. You’ll want to avoid high amounts since they might cause side-effects like liver issues.
This can help to reduce anxiety levels that can be caused by major breast pain/soreness. Some options include meditation and yoga. The key is to learn to relax more, which can help to reduce cortisol hormones. That, in turn, might help to reduce breast inflammation/swelling caused by PMS or pregnancy.
Make sure to focus on complex carbs and avoid white sugar and refined carbs. Various studies show that eating more complex carbs seems to help to reduce breast pain/soreness. The key is to maintain a high ratio of good/bad fat. For example, unsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids are better options versus saturated and omega-6 fatty acids.
Make sure you’re wearing a bra that’s snug but not overly tight. To get the right fit, a professional needs to help with the fitting. This will help to pick bras that provide the ideal amount of breast support. This can help your breasts stay supported yet also be able to lift.
Beverages like black coffee and green tea are loaded with healthy caffeine and antioxidants. However, high amounts might also be contributing to breast inflammation and especially during PMS/pregnancy. It’s not clear there’s a clear link between caffeine and breast soreness. However, it’s still best to drink moderate amounts of caffeine anyway.
This is an old-school treatment for soreness that’s still effective. Either option might help to reduce swollen breasts and reduce tenderness. Some options include a DIY warm compress or ice pack after learning about breast tenderness PMS vs pregnancy.