Painful breasts during menstruation: what to do to relieve the pain?

Painful breasts are a well-known symptom in women's lives. These pains can appear during the premenstrual syndrome but also during the period. These pains and their intensity fluctuate depending on the woman. For some, the discomfort is largely bearable. For others, the pain is so intense that it can disturb sleep.

Why do I have sore breasts during my period?

Fatigue, headaches, mood swings, cramps... These are all symptoms of menstruation and premenstrual syndrome. Some women will also have sore nipples during menstruation.

An upheaval caused by hormones

Hormonal imbalance can be one of the main causes of sensitive breasts. This is because the mammary ducts enlarge due to the production of a large amount of estrogen at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, which peaks before the middle of the cycle. This is why some women experience mastodynia 15 days before their period. Progesterone levels will peak around the 21st day of the cycle (in a typical 28-day cycle), which will trigger the growth of the mammary glands. The combination of the growth of these two hormones will create those tender nipples. However, painful breasts during menstrual loss can also be linked to other factors.

Diet or genetics

Diet plays a major role in our well-being and our lives. Naturally, certain foods will influence breast sensitivity. Also, family and genetic background can complicate things.

How to relieve breast pain during menstruation?

To better live this period of the cycle, there are several tips to relieve breast pain during periods.

A diet rich in fiber and essential fatty acids

As you probably already know, diet is a key tool for better living on a daily basis, and more specifically for menstrual disorders. Here are some tips from the Elia team:

  • Adopting a balanced diet with vitamin-rich foods such as almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts, which are rich in vitamin E, and bananas, mushrooms, and shiitake, which are rich in B6, helps to reduce menstrual pain
  • Foods containing soy also have many virtues such as reducing hormonal fluctuations and therefore sensitive nipples;
  • We also advise you to avoid foods that are too rich in fat or salt. We also advise you to avoid foods that are too rich in fat or salt, as these will promote water retention, which can be linked to breast pain.
  • Finally, a specific treatment based on food supplements is not to be excluded.

A break from caffeine

Coffee lovers beware: to relieve pain, it is better to avoid coffee. Indeed, caffeine constricts the blood vessels, which can aggravate certain effects of PMS and make breast pain even worse.

Wear comfortable clothing

If you have mastodynia, it's best to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to avoid chafing. A simple tip to counteract swollen or uncomfortable breasts during menstruation is not to wear a bra. Indeed, the "no-bra" has many advantages such as not having your rib cage compressed in your bra. If you are not comfortable with the "no-bra", you can opt for a bra that will support you without compressing you.

Natural treatments and grandma's remedies

Moisturizing and massaging your breasts can help reduce breast pain. Massages will help blood and lymphatic circulation. It is possible to massage during the shower. To be even more effective, massages can be done with coconut, almond or evening primrose oil. Essential oils can also help relieve pain. Clary sage essential oil because it accelerates blood circulation and stimulates the production of estrogen. Laurel oil is also suitable because it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

The most important thing: take care of yourself

Stress in general has an impact on health, on periods, and intrinsically on PMS and breast pain. So take care of yourself by doing activities that are good for your health and your body, that release endorphins and help you relax, such as sports that help reduce stress, yoga, sophrology, meditation that helps you relax.

What are the other causes of chest pain?

Most of the time, nipple pain is a sign of the different phases of the menstrual cycle. But if the discomfort continues beyond the period, it may be worth looking at other potential causes. Indeed, the breasts are a fragile area of the body that deserves to be observed, palpated and touched to prevent certain diseases. Self-palpation is important to prevent breast cancer. Breast pain or similar signs can come from other causes such as: menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, size which also makes generous breasts painful, breast cysts etc... If the phenomenon is too disabling on a daily basis, do not hesitate to consult your doctor or gynecologist who will be able to guide you towards appropriate solutions.

The FAQ of breast pain during menstruation

Why does my chest hurt before my period?

The hormonal changes that occur as menstruation approaches can make the nipples sore. The pain and its intensity vary from woman to woman. In fact, breast pain before menstrual bleeding is part of a group of symptoms called PMS.

Why does my breast hurt during my period?

Having pain during your period is very common. It is the result of the combination of two hormones: estrogen, which peaks on day 14, and progesterone, which peaks on day 21. Progesterone causes the mammary glands to grow.

Does menstruation make my breasts bigger?

When you have your period, your breasts may feel swollen and larger than usual. It is in fact the enlargement of the mammary ducts with the production of estrogen that creates this feeling of swelling.

Is it normal to have breast pain 15 days before my period?

Having sore breasts 15 days before menstruation is the result of the peak of estrogen that begins to fall just after ovulation, on the second half of the cycle.

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Les informations issues des articles présents sur le site sont des informations générales. Bien qu’elles aient été relues par des professionnels de santé, ces informations ne sont pas exemptes d’erreurs, ne constituent pas des conseils de santé ou des consultations et n’ont pas vocation à fournir un diagnostic ou proposer un traitement. Ces informations ne peuvent, en aucun cas, se substituer à un avis médical et ne peuvent pas remplacer une consultation auprès d’un professionnel de santé. Pour toute question, nous vous invitons à consulter votre médecin.