Breast Pain: Should I be Worried When They Hurt?

Breast pain can occur in both men and women, in either case, the causes can vary and can be a thing of concern. For the sake of this blog post, we will be focusing on women. 

Breast pain is the most common breast symptom that women have. Women can experience their breasts hurting at any time during their menstrual cycle. It can manifest as breast discomfort or tenderness in one or both breasts. The nature and causes of this pain could be dependent on the time of the cycle. 

The breast hurting in most cases is nothing to worry about, sometimes though, it could be a sign of something serious that could need medical attention. There are other factors that can contribute to the breasts hurting, like: smoking, diet, certain medications, and breast surgeries. 

What is Normal and Abnormal Breast Pain?

Normal breast pain can occur during puberty, menstruation, childbirth, or breastfeeding. It can also come with swelling and heaviness of the breast. This usually happens as a result of hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. These hormonal fluctuations might not be a hormonal imbalance. The breasts become more sensitive to these natural hormones. 

Normal breast discomfort is usually cyclical. This means it is associated with particular times during the menstrual cycle. You might notice breast heaviness a few days to ovulation or a few days before your period starts. It comes at different times of the cycle. It also improves or worsens based on the hormonal shift during the cycle. 

The pain is usually spread throughout the breast and sometimes into the armpit area. This pain is usually described as a burning, shooting, or stabbing pain. In the case of normal breast discomfort, it usually resolves on its own without any treatment or with conservative treatment measures.

Non-cyclical breast pain is not normal. This means it doesn’t coincide with the menstrual cycle. Sometimes this pain can be localized to one quadrant of the breast. The pain can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as nipple discharge or palpable lumps. Sometimes the pain can also be referred to the breast from another organ such as the lungs or heart. 

Signs To Look Out for When Your Breasts Hurt

As a woman, whenever you feel discomfort in your breasts, there are 5 major things you should pay attention to:

1. Is the pain in one or both breasts?

2. Is the pain localized to a part of the breast or is it all over the breast?

3. Does the pain come at a particular time during your cycle or is the pain constant?

4. Does the pain come with other symptoms like nipple discharge, lumps, discoloration, or any changes on the skin of the breasts?

5. Do you feel like the pain is on the surface of the skin of the breasts or do you feel the pain is deep inside the breasts?

What To Do When You Have Breast Pain

Whatever your symptoms are, you should seek medical help if the pain persists for too long, if the pain gets worse, or if it becomes debilitating chat with a doctor on Whispa right away. You can discuss your breast concerns discreetly without the hassle of queuing up in the waiting room.

Keep in mind that most cases of breast discomfort are not associated with the dreaded breast cancer. Only about 3% of breast pain is associated with breast cancer. The vast majority of breast pain resolves on its own and is usually a result of benign causes. 

#What to Remember

As a woman, you should pay attention to your breasts. This helps so that you can easily notice when there is an unusual appearance in your nipples, areola, or the skin of your breasts. You should also examine your breasts regularly for lumps or any unusual feeling. 

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