Understanding Breast Pain

For more information, please call 304-526-2270

Breast pain is a common problem in younger women who are still having their periods (menstrual cycle). It is less common in older women. The pain can be in one breast or in both. It may come and go each month, or it may last for several weeks, or even months, and then just go away.

What causes breast pain?

ultrasound may detect the cause of painPain or tenderness in your breasts can have many causes, including:

  • Hormone changes during your period
  • Water retention, which may occur during your period
  • Injury to your breast
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding/nursing
  • An infection in the breast
  • Breast cancer, although this is not a usual cause of breast pain
  • Hormone replacement pills or any other estrogen-containing productHow can my doctor find the cause of my breast pain?

How can my doctor find the cause of my breast pain?

ultrasound may detect the cause of painYour doctor will ask you questions to find the cause of your pain and decide if you need treatment. Your doctor will also check to see if you have lumps in your breasts. If you are younger than 35 years of age and don't have a breast lump, your doctor might decide that you don't need any tests. If you are more than 35 years of age and don't have a breast lump, your doctor might want you to get a mammogram. A mammogram is a special X-ray of the breasts.

If you have any lumps in your breast, your doctor might decide that you need one or more of these tests:

  • A mammogram
  • A breast sonogram, which is a painless test that uses sound waves to make a picture of the lump
  • A breast biopsy, in which some tissue is taken out of your breast and looked at under a microscope

How is breast pain treated?

There are different treatments for breast pain. You and your doctor can talk about these treatments and choose one or more that might work for you. Here are some treatments for breast pain that does not have an obvious cause:

  • Wear a support bra.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine with ibuprofen.
  • Take 2-4 capsules of evening primrose oil daily.
  • Take 400-1000 mg of vitamin E daily.
  • Use less salt.
  • Avoid caffeine products, such as coffee, tea or soda.
  • Avoid chocolate.

If you have questions about breast pain or tenderness, please call 304-526-2270.

 

 

  • Last updated: 09/20/2012
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