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Sharp Breast Pain

Sharp Breast Pain

A sharp breast pain is usually the result of hormonal changes during the periodic menstruation cycle or during menopause. It can also be caused by injuries and cysts on the breasts. This HerHaleness article provides more information about the possible causes of pain in the breasts.
Parul Solanki
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
A searing, sharp breast pain, also referred to as mastalgia, is always a cause for concern for women of all ages. Although some of them might be fleeting and may disappear as soon as they appeared, others forms of mastalgia may be more persistent. Nearly thirty to fifty percent of the women have had moderate to sharp breast pain sometime in their life. This can range from a mild, dull ache to a sharp, tingling sensation in the breasts. The symptoms are usually accompanied by tenderness, swelling, and formation of lumps in the affected area. Here is a look at some of the common causes of pain in breasts.


There are essentially two types of breast pain, cyclic and non-cyclic. While cyclic breast pain is caused by the changes in the hormonal levels which affects women during the monthly menstrual cycle, non-cyclic breast pain is usually caused by a fibroadenoma or a cyst. For instance, ulcers in the splenic flexure of the colon can also cause sharp pain under left breast.

Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes in women, throughout the menstrual cycle and during the pre-menopausal period, can trigger off the breast pain. These fluctuations in the hormones is also the cause of sharp breast pain during pregnancy and after menopause. The pain usually occurs in a definite pattern and is apparent during the ovulation cycles just before menstruation.

Imbalance in the Fatty Tissues: This pain can also be caused by an imbalance in the fatty tissues. This can result in the breast tissues becoming highly sensitive and painful. Primrose oil is believed to be an effective cure for the problem.

Breast Trauma: Injuries or breast trauma is one of the primary causes of pain in the breasts. This can also be the result of a cyst formation in the breasts and damage caused to the muscles and tissues. The problems associated with non-cyclic breast pain can range from mild problems such as acidity to severe heart-related problems.

Medication: Certain types of medication, such as the ones used for hormonal treatments and for treatment of menopausal symptoms, can cause a sharp pain in the breast. Antidepressants have also resulted in painful swelling and tenderness.

In addition to these causes, breast pain can also be caused by pain in the back, neck, and shoulders, and due to infections, such as mastitis, which causes inflammation and swelling. Usually the non-cyclic causes result in aching and throbbing pain in one spot. Some women also complain of an excruciating breast pain after breastfeeding. This may be the result of improper positioning while feeding or due to a yeast infection.


A few lifestyle changes and certain dietary regulations are considered to be effective treatments for breast pain. These include:
  • Wearing a supporting bra can help relieve the pain.
  • Warm compresses and heating pads are known to be effective in reducing the swelling.
  • Maintaining your weight by watching your diet is a good way of treating these stabbing pains.
  • Eat a low-fat diet and increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Reduce salt consumption and increase the amount of water that you drink.
  • Eliminate caffeine completely from the diet.
  • Include calcium and Vitamin E supplements in the diet.
  • Stress-relieving techniques and massages can help reduce the pain and inflammation.
These simple measures can restrict the severe breast pain. The good news though is that it is usually not related to breast cancer. If the pain is persistent, then it is best to consult the doctor, and have a breast examination and mammogram done to diagnose the cause of the pain.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.
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