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Why Do Breast Hurt Before Periods

by Lyndon Langley
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Why Do Breast Hurt Before Periods

Why Do Breast Hurt Before Periods

Breast pain is one of those things that most women dread, but few know how to deal with it. If you have any kind of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms like bloating or headaches, they may seem worse because of your breast discomfort. Fortunately, there are many different treatments for this problem.
Many women experience painful sores on their nipples when going through menopause. This condition is called atopic dermatitis, which occurs more often in people who sweat heavily or have skin allergies. It’s also been linked to eating chocolate. Women who suffer from this type of breast pain should avoid all contact with chocolate and try topical hydrocortisone cream until the rash goes away.
Another interesting phenomenon is called mammary hypertrophy, which means increased size of the breasts. The breasts become larger due to fat buildup and fluid retention, as well as an enlargement of the lobules, which supply milk to the breasts. Mastalgia affects about 10 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 50, causing swelling and tenderness of the breasts.
If your breasts hurt before period, you might be suffering from mastalgia. Some possible causes include hormonal imbalance, obesity, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Other factors such as age, weight, genetics and ethnicity can affect whether you will get mastalgia. In fact, if you’re overweight, you could develop it even if your hormones are normal. Certain medications can worsen the pain, so talk to your doctor about them.
Mastalgia usually lasts anywhere from two weeks up to six months. Once the pain starts to go away, you’ll need to do some self-care. Keep reading to learn what you can do to relieve breast pain.
Treatment Options for Painful Breasts
The first thing you need to do is identify the source of the pain. You shouldn’t just assume it comes from the breasts themselves; other conditions can make the pain worse. For example, stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue can all contribute to the severity of breast pain.
Once you’ve determined the source of the pain, take note of its location. Is the pain localized around only one area of each breast? Or does it spread across both sides? Also, write down where the pain begins, how long it lasts and how severe it feels. These observations will help determine the best treatment plan for you.
Most women turn to over-the-counter drugs to treat their breast pain. Ibuprofen has been shown to provide relief for breast pain caused by inflammation. Calcium supplements can reduce the incidence of PMS and improve bone strength. Vitamin E capsules can lessen the effects of hot flashes. However, if you decide to see your health care provider, he or she can prescribe stronger medication.
Your physician might refer you to an obstetrician/gynecologist, whose specialty is dealing specifically with pregnancy issues. Doctors trained in family medicine or general practice don’t typically handle problems related to menstruation and fertility.
In addition to relieving pain, you’ll also want to look into ways to prevent flare ups. Read on to find out more.
Some doctors recommend making lifestyle changes to alleviate pain associated with PMS. They suggest quitting smoking, losing excess pounds, exercising regularly and taking folic acid supplements to decrease the risk of birth defects.
Preventing Painful Breast Flares
As we mentioned earlier, breast pain tends to occur in cycles. Sometimes it will disappear completely without intervention, while other times it can last several years. In order to effectively manage breast pain, you’ll need to understand why it happens and how to prevent it.
You probably already know that estrogen and progesterone play a major role in breast growth and development. During ovulation, the body produces high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone. After menstruation, levels of progesterone fall and estrogen rises. This pattern repeats itself twice per month, resulting in fluctuating hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, breast pain doesn’t tend to happen right after periods, when estrogen levels peak. Rather, it tends to occur around day 14 to 28 of the cycle.
This is because both estrogen and progesterone are responsible for stimulating the lactiferous ducts. As estrogen increases, the ducts grow bigger and more sensitive. Progesterone stimulates the ducts to produce more milk. When these two actions coincide, the result can cause irritation and soreness.
To keep this process running smoothly, you’ll need to take steps to protect yourself from harmful chemicals. Many household cleaners contain phthalates, which can interfere with the endocrine system. Check labels carefully to ensure that no cleaning products contain phthalate ingredients.
Also, never use harsh soaps and laundry detergents on your sensitive breasts. Instead, use mild cleansers made especially for sensitive skin. And wash your hands frequently, since bacteria are known to cause breast infections.
Finally, pay attention to what you eat! Your diet can influence breast tissue in many ways. Foods rich in zinc, vitamin B6 and folate, as well as calcium and magnesium, can actually help repair damaged tissues. On the other hand, caffeine, sugar and salt can aggravate breast pain. Try cutting back on processed foods and substituting healthy alternatives instead.
To read more about treating breast pain, visit the links below.
It’s important to remember that breast pain won’t always respond to simple solutions. If your breast pain persists despite proper hygiene efforts, environmental considerations and dietary changes, it may be time to consult a medical professional. In particular, women who notice sudden onset of new symptoms should seek immediate evaluation [Source: Knoeller].
Breast Pain Treatments – Pain Relief Procedures
Read on to learn about the various methods used to relieve breast pain.
One common misconception is that breast pain is exclusively related to menstruation. Although it can be triggered by menstruation, it’s not limited to the time leading up to it. While breast pain isn’t usually experienced by women who have regular cycles, it can still occur at any point along the way.
Laser Therapy
High intensity pulsed light therapy (HILT), sometimes referred to as laser therapy, is becoming increasingly popular among patients seeking relief from breast pain. Laser therapy uses lasers to stimulate collagen production. Since collagen helps strengthen connective tissue, it promotes healing while reducing the possibility of scarring. HILT works by targeting specific areas within the dermis layer of the skin. The energy emitted by the laser penetrates deep enough to reach the subcutaneous layers where it can promote healing.
Radiofrequency Treatment
Radiofrequency ablation is another option for reducing breast pain. Radiofrequencies work by heating small pockets of fatty tissue beneath the surface of the skin. The heat destroys the cells without harming surrounding tissues. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes but results in significant reduction of breast pain.
When other therapies fail to offer adequate pain relief, surgery may be necessary. Removal of fibrous cysts, removal of enlarged lymph nodes and mastectomy are options available to women experiencing chronic breast pain.
Women who choose to undergo mastectomies are encouraged to consider reconstructive surgeries. Two types of reconstruction are commonly performed — implant placement and autologous tissue flap transfer. Implant placement involves placing prosthetics underneath the chest muscle. Autologous tissue flap transfers involve using your own body to create a fake nipple.
For more information about managing breast pain, see the next page.
Although it sounds dramatic, breast cancer rarely develops in the breasts of young women. Most cases occur in older women who have gone through the menopause. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, 90 percent of breast cancers diagnosed in postmenopausal women are ER positive, meaning that they overexpress ER receptors. Overexpression of these receptors makes the cells more susceptible to estrogen stimulation. Because younger women generally aren’t exposed to as much estrogen as older women, they are less likely to develop breast cancer.

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