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How To Deal With Breast Pain Before Your Period

01 February, 2023

It’s thought that a whopping 90% of women experience PMS, and the range of symptoms that accompany it can be tough to deal with.

One such symptom is breast pain and tenderness, and while it can be a concern, the majority of the time our sore boobs are caused by PMS.

Let’s take a look at breast pain before your period and how you can deal with it each month.

Is it normal to have breast pain before your period?

The short answer is yes. Many women deal with PMS each month, and the symptoms of it can often include breast pain and tenderness.

It’s actually quite a common symptom of PMS, and totally normal for you to experience just before and during your period.

If you are experiencing any unusual pain or discomfort and you’re concerned about it, it is best to see a doctor just in case. We’ve covered this in more detail below.

Breast tenderness and pain symptoms

The symptoms of breast pain before your period can vary from person to person, but these are some of the most common ones:

  • Tenderness around your breasts

  • Dull aching

  • The breast tissue feels denser

  • Swollen breasts

The soreness of your breasts can almost feel as though they’re bruised, and they can be tender to the touch. The swelling of your breasts can also make the pain worse, as it’s putting extra strain on them.

Some women even find that wearing a tight bra can cause discomfort, as the wiring or cups put too much pressure on your sore breasts.

Breast pain and soreness can start two weeks before your period, and last up until the end of your period. It will depend on your own body as to how long this PMS symptom lasts, but it should only last around a week or two.

What causes sore breasts before your period?

Like most other PMS symptoms, sore breasts are also caused by the changes in your hormones. Interestingly, each woman’s body will have slightly different timings for the changes. This is why you may only have sore breasts for a couple of days, and another woman may have them for a week.

During the later phases of your cycle, your oestrogen and progesterone levels will increase. Higher levels of oestrogen can enlarge your breast ducts, which then makes your breasts become sore. The progesterone is also said to make your milk glands become swollen — again, making your breasts feel painful.

How to reduce breast pain before your period

When you experience breast pain before your period, your first thought is probably how you can get rid of it. While it may not be possible to get rid of it entirely, there are some things you can do that might reduce it.

  • Anti-inflammatory medications – Ibuprofen is said to help soothe breast pain as it could alleviate the inflammation causing it. If you know your cycle well, you may be able to take it in advance. Some women like to take it right before they know their breasts will hurt, and help soothe the inflammation before it gets too bad. 

  • Lower fat and salt – Foods that are higher in salt and fat could increase your PMS symptoms, which can then make your breasts feel sore. It’s a good idea to try and lower these in your diet to try and keep your PMS symptoms to a minimum. 

  • Increase your magnesium intake – The magnesium levels in your body decrease before your period, and this may exasperate PMS symptoms like sore breasts. Try eating foods high in magnesium like spinach, nuts, and whole grains to really boost your intake. 

  • Wear a supportive bra – While you may not feel like wearing a wired bra, switching to a supportive sports bra can make a huge difference. The extra support that it gives you can help soothe the aching and soreness as it takes the pressure off your breasts. 

Treatment for breast pain before your period

There are actually treatments out there for breast pain, and they can really make a difference to how sore your breasts feel before your period.

Many of these can be accessed without a prescription as well, so you can easily soothe your sore boobs at home.

Over-the-counter medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen could help you manage your breast pain, as they’re anti-inflammatory. This means that they can help you alleviate breast pain and tenderness when they lower the inflammation in your breasts.

Contraceptive pills

Some doctors will recommend certain contraceptive pills or changing your existing contraceptive pill choice to help with breast pain, as this may possibly help decrease your PMS symptoms.

However, the contraceptive pill is made up of synthetic hormones, which might not actually be that effective and can even exacerbate certain PMS symptoms.

Bio-identical hormone treatments

Hormone treatments can be a great way to help alleviate your breast pain, as they can match the natural hormones in your body and regulate them each month.

Bioidentical progesterone cream could be the solution you need — helping to eliminate PMS symptoms through the use of a natural hormone treatment.

The bioidentical progesterone will replicate the hormone that your body will naturally produce when you need it the most, allowing your PMS symptoms (including breast pain) to be soothed.

Breast pain: when to see a doctor

Breast pain and tenderness is a totally normal PMS symptom. However, it’s important to know the signs that it could be something more, as you may need to see a doctor. It could be pregnancy or an infection, both of which aren’t life-threatening but will need the attention of a doctor.

If you experience any of the below symptoms, then speak to a medical professional as soon as possible:

  • The pain occurs every day for more than a few weeks

  • The pain or tenderness is only in one specific area of your breast

  • The pain is getting worse and not clearing up when your period is finished

  • It disrupts your daily life

  • It’s so painful that you can’t sleep or you’re woken up by the pain

It’s thought that breast pain isn’t a common symptom of breast cancer, so try not to worry yourself. Seeing a doctor will be the best way to ease your mind and they can help point you in the right direction for treatment if home remedies and OTC treatments aren’t working.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand breast pain a little bit more, and allowed you to see that it’s a perfectly normal symptom of PMS. It’s also important to know that you don’t have to suffer in silence each month — there are solutions out there.

If you’re struggling with breast pain, take our online assessment so you can see what our hormone treatments can do for you and your PMS symptoms.

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