When to worry about breast pain? Is that what you are searching for? If you are, then let us tell you there are several reasons that make your breast pain. It can be a sharp pain in the right breast that comes and goes or in your left one as well. So, to give you a clear idea and make you understand, we have come with our blog today! Here we will discuss several conditions where your breast can pain and when you must visit a doctor. Read on, and you’ll know it all!
When to worry about breast pain?
Breast pain or mastalgia is burning, stabbing, sharp pain in the breast tissue. Moreover, this can be continual or can occasionally happen in women, men, and transgender individuals. You might be wondering when to worry about breast pain – well, if the pain is still there for weeks, then it is best to talk to a doctor. The pain can be mild or severe, and it can happen for few days every month.
If it happens in women for 2 – 3 days, it can be a sign of your menstrual period. Moreover, it is normal, as the pain should be mild, which affects both the breasts.
If it happens for more than a week before the period, it is due to the pre-menstrual syndrome. But the pain is moderate or sometimes severe and will affect both breasts.
If it happens for the entire month, then it is not linked to the menstrual cycle, and you need to have a check up with a doctor immediately.
Types of breast pain
Cyclic and noncyclic breast pain are two types of pain. Check out the description below:
Cyclic breast pain
It is related to hormone level changes or the menstrual period. The pain can be aching and will give you a feeling of heaviness. Sometimes there is breast lumpiness, swelling, and fullness.
Furthermore, it primarily affects the outer and upper portion of the breast and sometimes can radiate to the armpits.
Most of the time, it happens a week before the beginning of the menstrual cycle, and then it goes away afterwards.
Women in their 20s – 30s are mainly affected by this kind of pain. Sometimes women in their 40s can feel this pain too when they are going through their menopause.
Noncyclic breast pain
This type of pain is not related to the menstrual period. Most of the time, it feels like a burning, tight and aching sensation. Also, it mainly happened in one breast and in a particular area but might spread throughout the breast. The pain can be irregular or constant. Women especially face this after their menopause.
Tender breast meaning
Breast tenderness can happen either due to normal changes or disease processes. Moreover, it might worsen if there is little pressure, or it might not get affected due to pressure; it all depends on its causes. Furthermore, the tender breast is related to breast swelling.
Also, tenderness of the breast is related to reproductive changes like premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual tension, or pregnancy. It might also be due to some people intake a massive amount of caffeine daily.
Few other symptoms can be the person is using estrogen medications like birth control pills, primary disorder, or weight gain.
Some of the primary disorders are breast inflammation (mastitis), fibrocystic breast disease, ectopic pregnancy, malignant tumors, or breast abscess.
Reasons behind breast pain – when to worry about breast pain?
Most people experience breast pain sometimes. Most of the time, you can treat it easily. However, sometimes the condition can be more serious. Check out some reasons for breast pain:
Hormonal imbalance making them sore
Hormonal imbalance is one of the most common reasons why most women have breast pain. Moreover, the breast becomes sore 4 – 5 days before the start of the menstrual cycle. However, it stops when the cycle starts.
Furthermore, this mainly happens cause progesterone and estrogen rise just before the start of the period. Both of these hormones make the breast tender and swollen.
According to doctors, it is normal for breasts to become tender during the period, and this will come and go every time during the period.
Also, a breast sore is one of the first few signs of pregnancy in some women.
Steps to reduce the breast sore:
- Do not smoke.
- Take painkillers.
- Reduce the amount of salt you eat daily.
- Remove caffeine from your diet.
- Switch to a low-fat diet
- Sometimes switching hormonal medications might help.
A breast injury can happen due to any reason. It might be from surgery, playing sports, or an accident. Hence you might feel sharp pain after the time of the injury. Moreover, the pain can stay for few days to weeks depending upon the injury. However, if you are wondering when to worry about breast pain, then let us tell you it must stop within three to four weeks. But if it doesn’t, there are reasons for you to worry.
Sometimes the reasons might be due to severe swelling, lump in the breast, bruise on the breast that did not go away, or redness due to an infection.
Wearing the wrong bra can hurt the breasts
If the bra size is wrong, then the ligaments that will connect the breasts to the chest wall might be overstretched, and it will hurt if someone wears the bra throughout the day. Thus, you might have sore and achy breasts. Furthermore, you will mostly notice this during a workout.
Hence do make sure that your bra is of the correct size and gives good support.
The pain is coming from the chest wall
This happens when you feel the pain is coming from inside. The chest wall is made of bone, tissue, and muscle, which protects the lungs and heart. Some of the common reasons for chest wall pain are:
- Fracture in the bone
- Getting hit on the chest
- Muscle pull
- Inflammation on the ribs.
When to worry about breast pain if the chest wall pain does not reduce within few days? Well, it means you might have a bone fracture in your chest area, and you should talk to a doctor immediately.
Most of the time, this happens to women who are breastfeeding, but it might happen to other women as well. Moreover, one of the most common signs of breast infection is fever. Some of the other signs of breast infection are swelling, pain, and redness.
And it is something you need to worry about breast pain, and it is essential to talk to a doctor. Most of the time, pain killers and antibiotics help get rid of breast infection.
The side effect of pills
Some pills’ side effects can be breast pain. Hence, you need to talk to the doctor about the pills and see if that is the reason why you are having breast pain.
Some of the pills which might be the reason breast pain are:
- Digitalis, which is for heart failure
- Oxymetholone is used to control anemia
- Hormonal pills such as infertility treatments, birth control pills, or hormone replacements
- Methyldopa this pill helps to control high blood pressure
- Water pills like diuretics, these pills increase urine secretion and are mainly used for kidney treatment. However, it is also used to control high blood pressure and heart problems.
Breast pain might be a cause of breast cancer
According to doctors, breast cancer does not cause breast pain most of the time, but it is not impossible. However, inflammatory breast cancer might cause pain, but it is also rare only happen to 1 – 5% of the patient.
Most of the time the diseases like this happen abruptly and then grow rapidly. Some of the signs of inflammatory breast cancer might be:
- Extreme pain
- Feels heavy
- Discoloration mainly red
- The skin might be thickened.
If you are wondering when to worry about breast pain, let us tell you discoloration is an alarming sign. You must see your doctor immediately!
Most of the time, cysts aren’t dangerous and do not need any treatment either. They do resolve on their own. However, it is better to check with your doctor if the cyst is painful.
Most of the time, the doctor will suggest doing ultrasonography, aspiration, or mammogram. Drawing fluid from the cyst is a kind of treatment. But if the cyst is not bothering, then one does not need any treatment.
Breast pain due to breast implants
Not common, but some women might face complications due to breast implants made of either saline or silicone. Moreover, the most common reason for the pain is capsular contracture which happens after breast implant surgery. This happens to cause the scar tissues are too tight around the breast implants.
Furthermore, the reason for the pain can also be because the implants have been broken. It is essential to talk to your doctor about this, and they can tell you if it is the cause of breast implants or some other reason.
When to see a doctor?
Most of the time, breast pain is just a minor issue. However, you can still talk to your doctor to be sure about it. But when to worry about breast pain? Well, if the pain is persistent. Also, if someone has lumps, whether it is painful or not, you must consult a doctor to make sure that is not a major problem.
A quick remedy for breast pain
Breast pain resolves naturally for a lot of women, and most do not need any treatment. But there are little researches done on these remedies, but there is no harm in trying them. Check them out below:
- Wear a fitted bra always. Especially, during workouts wearing a sports bra is a must.
- Do not do any hormonal therapy without proper guidance.
- Include complex carbs and low-fat foods in the diet.
- Some medications are known to cause pain and sometimes make it worse. Hence avoid taking them.
- Try not to have caffeine. If you cannot live without caffeine, do not drink more than one cup each day.
- One should not do an excessive lifting activity.
- There are some over-the-counter pain killers which one can use. Some of these pain relievers you can use are Advil (ibuprofen), Tylenol (acetaminophen), and Motrin IB. However, ask the doctor how many doses you should take since using it for a long time might increase the risk of liver issues.
- Relaxation therapy is fantastic to get rid of breast pain.
- You can use a cold or hot compress on the breasts.
- Keeping track of the breast pain. You can write down when you are having pain in a journal. Moreover, in this way, you will know whether it is cyclic or noncyclic pain.
When to worry about breast pain after menopause?
Menopause means the monthly menstrual cycle stops. This happens because the body does not produce progesterone and estrogen hormones. It is seen that most women reach menopause at the age of 51.
Furthermore, it is not a sudden stop of the menstrual cycle. This is a slow process that mostly takes 4 – 12 years. When the time is approaching for menopause, it is called perimenopause. At this time, the periods become irregular. In most cases, it starts during the 40s.
Someone can consider it to be menopause if they do not have their period for a year. At this time, a lot of women experience few symptoms such as sore breasts and hot flashes.
What are the signs?
The sore breast, which has a relation with perimenopause, will most probably feel different than the soreness one might feel all the other times in their life. It feels more like a slight ache in both the breasts and happens just before the period.
Furthermore, it can feel like a burning sensation that one might feel in both breasts or sometimes only on one breast. However, not every woman feels breast pain in the same manner. Sometimes the pain might feel like an intensely sharp or throbbing pain.
Some of the other signs when someone is in perimenopause include:
- Sweating at night
- Hot flashes
- Disturbed sleep
- Mood swings
- Anxiety, mainly during the night
- Brain fog
- Weight loss or gain
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Red Flushes
- Irregular heartbeat
- Change in hair (hair loss etc.)
However, if you still think when to worry about breast pain, let us tell you it should not be due to perimenopause. If you are sure, then consider visiting a doctor. Also, talk to a doctor if you have some of these other signs:
- The appearance of the breast changes
- Breast size might increase
- Discharges from the nipple which might be bloody, yellow, or clear
- Chest pain
Most of these signs indicate a more difficult situation. For instance, chest pain might indicate that there are some heart problems. Moreover, the doctor can determine the reasons behind these, whether hormonal or some other reason behind the pain.
Solution for breast pain during menopause:
- Expose to the sun and sweating
- Try to have a sleeping schedule and stick with it
- Include anti-inflammatory foods
- Take medicines that balance the estrogen hormone
- Exercise daily
- Include supplements if necessary
- Hormonal and herbal therapy
- Stop smoking
There might be different reasons for breast pain, and not all of them are serious. Moreover, there are few quick remedies that you can try at home and see if you feel any different. However, if the pain is there for weeks, then it essential to talk to a doctor.