Painful breasts during your period: what can you do to relieve the pain?

Sore breasts are a well-known symptom in women's lives. These pains can occur during premenstrual syndrome, as well as during menstruation. The intensity of the pain varies from woman to woman. For some, the discomfort is largely bearable. For others, the pain is so intense that it can disturb sleep.

Why do my breasts hurt during my period?

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

Hormonal upheaval

Hormonal imbalance can be one of the main causes of sensitive breasts. In fact, the mammary ducts widen as a result of the production of large quantities of estrogen at the start 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 peak around day 21 of the cycle (in a typical 28-day cycle), triggering mammary gland growth. The combined growth of these two hormones creates sensitive nipples. But painful breasts during menstrual loss can also be linked to other factors.

Diet or genetics

Diet plays a vital role in our well-being and our lives. Naturally, certain foods will influence breast sensitivity. Family and genetic factors can also complicate matters.

How can I relieve breast pain during my period?

To make the most of this period of the cycle, there are a number of tips to help relieve period-related breast pain.

A diet rich in fibre and essential fatty acids

As I'm sure you already know, diet is a key tool for better daily living, and particularly for menstruation-related problems. Here are a few 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 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 promote water retention, which can be linked to breast pain.
  • Finally, a specific treatment based on dietary supplements cannot be ruled out.

A break from caffeine

Coffee lovers beware: to relieve pain, it's best to avoid coffee. Caffeine constricts blood vessels, which can aggravate certain effects of PMS and make breast pain even worse.

Wear comfortable clothing

If you suffer from mastodynia, it's best to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to avoid chafing. A simple trick to counteract swollen or uncomfortable breasts during periods is not to wear a bra. In fact, the no-bra has many advantages, such as not having your ribcage compressed in your bra. If you're not comfortable with no-bra, you can opt for a bra that will support you without compressing you.

Natural treatments and grandmother's remedies

Moisturizing and massaging the breasts can help reduce pain. Massages help blood and lymph circulation. Massages can be given in the shower. For even greater effectiveness, massages can be performed with coconut, almond or evening primrose oil. Essential oils can also help relieve pain. Clary sage essential oil accelerates blood circulation and stimulates estrogen production. Laurel oil is also suitable, as 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 practicing activities that are good for your health and your body, that release endorphins and help you access relaxation, such as sport, which helps reduce stress, yoga, sophrology, meditation, which helps you relax.

What are the other causes of chest pain?

Most of the time, sore nipples are a sign of the different phases of the menstrual cycle. However, if this discomfort persists beyond the period surrounding menstruation, it may be worth investigating 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 for preventing breast cancer. Breast pain or similar signs can have other causes, such as: menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, size, which also makes generous breasts painful, mammary cysts, etc. If the phenomenon is too disabling on a daily basis, don't hesitate to consult your doctor or gynecologist, who will be able to guide you towards appropriate solutions.

FAQs on 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 one woman to another. In fact, breast pain before menstrual discharge is part of a group of symptoms known as PMS.

Why does my breast hurt during my period?

Pain during menstruation is very common. It's caused by a 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're on your period, you may feel that your breasts are swollen and larger than usual. In fact, it's the enlargement of the mammary ducts with the production of estrogen that creates this sensation 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 estrogen peak that begins to fall just after ovulation, on the second half of the cycle.

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