Breast pain is a common symptom that can develop during the menopausal transition, due to fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone.
While postmenopausal women can experience breast pain, it is most common in premenopausal and perimenopausal women.
A common complaint among females, breast pain affects as many as 70% of women at some point in their lives. Only a small portion of these women, about 10 percent, will experience severe breast pain, which can have a significant impact on relationships, work, and daily life. Nevertheless, breast pain can prompt understandable questions and concerns at any intensity.
Breast pain – known medically as mastalgia, mastodynia, and mammalgia – is the general term used to mean discomfort, tenderness, and/or pain in one or both of the breasts.
It is categorized as either cyclical or non-cyclical. With the former, breast pain is the result of hormonal changes, making it the most common kind of breast pain in pre- and perimenopausal women. Non-cyclical breast pain, more common in postmenopausal women, is not related to hormonal changes. Extra mammary breast pain, which originates outside the breast, is a third type of breast discomfort.
The symptoms can vary depending on the type and the individual woman. Generally speaking, symptoms include tenderness, tightness, soreness, burning, swelling, dullness, and/or aching. Symptoms can be consistent or intermittent and may affect one or both breasts.
Causes of Breast Pain
The most common cause of breast discomfort during menopause is hormonal change. As with all times of hormonal fluctuation (i.e. menstruation and pregnancy), menopause can alter the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. As a result, women may develop breast pain.
While hormones are the most common cause of breast pain experienced in menopause, other factors can cause or contribute to breast pain. These rarer causes range from serious health conditions to dietary issues.
Less Common Causes of Breast Pain
- Breast cysts
- Breast trauma
- Prior breast surgery
- Breast size
- Oral contraceptive use
- Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Cholesterol and heart drugs
Breast Pain Diagnosis
While breast discomfort during menopause is not usually cause for alarm, it is never a bad idea to speak with a doctor about this symptom. Though breast pain is rarely indication of cancer, speaking with a doctor to rule out breast cancer can greatly help to allay these worries and help a woman determine the best way to manage breast tenderness.
Women who experience prolonged or unexplained breast pain, or additional accompanying symptoms should speak with a doctor to rule out rare, but more serious, causes of breast pain. At a doctor visit, a full physical and clinical exam will be performed. If something more serious is suspected, a doctor may order additional tests.
Breast Pain Treatments
Fortunately, a number of self-care measures and natural treatments can help to relieve breast pain during menopause
with little or no side effect risks. Self care can include avoiding dietary and lifestyle triggers, getting regular exercise,
massage, and relaxation techniques.
Treatment for Menopausal Symptoms:
- Lifestyle Changes
- The Manna Menopause Support Supplement, with 100% natural phyto-estrogens.