The most common causes of breast pain are related to hormonal changes, such as those that occur during menstruation, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Contrary to what is commonly thought, breast cancer is not the only cause of breast pain. And while it may be the most serious cause, there are many other conditions to be aware of.
When breast pain manifests itself for a long period of time and with increasing intensity, it is necessary to go to the doctor for a timely evaluation and diagnosis. It is very important not to let the discomfort go by, since it can affect the quality of life.
A good way to take care of your breasts is to do a self-exam. If when performing it, no lumps are palpable but there is pain, it is possible that some benign pathology is causing it.
It must be remembered that it is normal, up to a point, to feel certain discomfort in the breasts at certain times. For example, before or during menstruation or during pregnancy. It is a symptom that is caused by hormonal changes in the body, so they are not serious, as you can see below.
Breast pain as a symptom of a condition
As mentioned, it is normal for some breast pain to be experienced during pregnancy. Especially during the first trimester, since this is when there is a greater increase in blood flow in the breasts. For this reason, the veins in this area of the body also become more visible.
On the other hand, it should be noted that breast pain and breast sensitivity, in general, tend to be more intense when the woman is a newcomer, or has become pregnant at an early age.
Breast pain can also occur during breastfeeding. Regardless of whether or not the woman breastfeeds her baby, the so-called “milk surge” often causes pain. However, if this is accentuated quickly and is unbearable for the woman, in addition to being accompanied by symptoms such as breast inflammation, it may be a possible mastitis.
The mastitis is sinus inflammation due to obstruction of the milk ducts. This occurs because there may be an infection in the breast, caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus. In addition to pain, the symptoms are: redness of the breasts and fever, among others.
Abscesses are a collection of pus in the breast tissue; therefore, it is an infectious process. This problem can cause sore breasts, they can feel like soft lumps, and is usually caused by bacteria that enter the breast through cracks in the nipples.
5. Hormonal alterations
Many women suffer from sore breasts throughout their fertile stage. However, the pain is more frequent in the middle of the menstrual cycle, coinciding with ovulation and the days before menstruation. These two phases of the cycle coincide with the most abrupt changes in the levels of female hormones.
Premenstrual syndrome can cause breast pain, although it is usually mild to moderate in intensity and does not warrant treatment. Another possible cause of pain in this area can be the use of some hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.
6. Breast cysts
Cysts are a kind of fluid-filled sacs that form inside the breasts. They are usually benign and are characterized by causing pain in the breasts. When they are large, they can be palpated, although some require a mammogram to be detected.
7. Breast cancer
Breast pain is one of the symptoms that takes the longest to appear when you have breast cancer, so you do not have to worry unnecessarily. After an evaluation, the doctor will indicate what exactly is happening and how it can be treated.
How to maintain the health of the breasts?
Good breast care includes certain actions, such as those described below:
- Choosing the right bra size. Also, wearing a comfortable bra to sleep(soft and rather loose) will help prevent discomfort as well as sagging.
- Eat a healthy diet, low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains. It must be remembered that the sum of good habits influences, to a great extent, all aspects of health.
- Maintain a healthy body weight to avoid hormonal disruption.
- Consult with your doctor if it is convenient to take vitamins B6(pyridoxine), vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin E.
However, to prevent or relieve breast pain it is not necessary to resort to drugs in the first instance. These should be left only for those cases in which the discomfort is too intense or for when the doctor indicates it.
It should also be remembered to avoid self-medication, as this can hide other symptoms.