Menopause Symptoms- Sore Breasts
Why Are Your Breasts Sore?
If you’re nearing menopause, you may also have sore breasts. Menopause is a transitional time when your periods slow and finally stop due to hormonal changes in your body. In addition to sore breasts, menopause can cause other symptoms like hot flushes and vaginal dryness. It can come on suddenly—either a dull ache or stabbing pain in the breast. Even if you know that breast pain is rarely a symptom of Cancer, sore breasts in menopause can be troubling.
So what exactly causes breast pain—and can it be prevented or at least managed? Before menopause, you will often experience breast pain as part of your monthly cycle. Anyone who has been pregnant knows that tender and sore breasts are a part of pregnancy as well. It’s also normal to experience breast soreness during the transitional years leading up to menopause. Take a moment to learn about why menopause can cause breast soreness and a few tips to help you ease the discomfort.
What Causes Breast Soreness During Menopause?
Changing levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are the usual cause of breast pain during perimenopause and menopause. As you enter perimenopause, estrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall in unpredictable patterns before starting to taper off. The spikes in hormone levels can affect breast tissue, making your breasts hurt.
Breast soreness should improve once your periods stop and your body no longer produces estrogen. If you take hormone therapy to treat menopause symptoms, you may continue to have sore breasts.
Could Anything Else Be Causing Your Menopause Sore Breasts?
Your breast pain may be related to menopause, or it could be a symptom of another condition. Your risk of having breast soreness is higher if you:
- Take certain medicines, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), diuretics, digitalis preparations, methyldopa or spironolactone (Aldactone)
- Experience a breast infection
- Have cysts in your breasts
- Have a fibroadenoma or a noncancerous lump in the breast
- Wear a poorly fitting bra, especially one with an underwire
- Gain weight or have large breasts
Though rare, breast cancer can cause breast soreness. Most breast pain isn’t due to cancer. However, finding a lump in your breast that is accompanied by pain is stressful and causes worry. So see your doctor to find out the next steps of evaluation. There are noncancerous conditions that can cause breast lumps and soreness. Your GP can order tests to find out what’s causing the problem.
What Can You Do To Stop Soreness Of The Breasts?
Once you have a diagnosis, you and your GP can take steps to treat your breast pain. For breast soreness due to perimenopause, you have a few pain relief options.
You should talk to your doctor about whether medication could help relieve your breast pain. Consider asking about OTC relievers, such as ibuprofen.Some people turn to natural remedies, such as vitamins, for relief. Popular options include:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin E
- Evening Primrose Oil is one of the most popular natural remedies for sore breasts during menopause
- Omega-3 fatty acids, like flax seeds or fish oil supplementsAcupuncture.
Other remedies and lifestyle changes that may help menopause sore breasts include:
- Wearing supportive bras that fit comfortably
- Exercising regularly
- Applying a warm compress
- Avoiding smoking
- Taking a hot shower
- Reducing caffeine intake
If your breasts are so sore that they’re making you miserable, you can also:
- Use progesterone cream or capsules to help balance oestrogen and improve symptoms. Progesterone cream is available over-the-counter, but capsules require a prescription. Progesterone also helps with bloating and many of the mood-related symptoms of perimenopause.
- Eating more fibre helps lower oestrogen levels, which will improve the oestrogen/progesterone balance. Aim for 35-45 gm/day. Increase this gradually or your GI system will let you know it’s unhappy!
- Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and folic acid levels need to be at optimal levels. Magnesium, along with vitamin B6, is particularly effective in reducing breast soreness and pain, in addition to helping with insomnia, tension headaches, anxiety, depression, cravings, and water retention.