Many women experience tender and sore breasts at some point of time in their lives. This is a common occurrence and is often overlooked thinking that it will go away after a certain period. But what many don't know is that a feeling of tenderness and pain in the breasts can be an indication of some underlying, serious health disorder.
Right from the start of puberty till menopause and sometimes even after menopause women may experience a feeling of soreness in the breasts and around the nipples. The feeling may vary from individual to individual and can be noticed in either, or both the breasts.
Though tender breasts can be seen both in men and women, this condition is more prevalent in women. There can be several reasons why most women experience a raw feeling in the breasts, a few of which are given here.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Experiencing soreness in the breasts before period is a sign of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which occurs due to the fluctuation of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. There is also excessive retention of water in the breast tissues due to which the skin becomes taut. This is why women experience sore breasts and nipples as a sign of PMS.
Sign of Pregnancy
At the time of pregnancy, the body mainly undergoes hormonal changes. The body prepares itself for breast feeding after childbirth. The levels of hormones in the body increase, which result in tender breasts.
The breasts, particularly the nipples, become more sensitive to touch and even fabric. Hence, breast tenderness in early pregnancy is quite a common occurrence and not a matter of panic.
If you are on medication like oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, then you may experience heightened degree of sensitivity in the breasts as a side effect of these therapies.
Birth control pills tend to alter the hormones in the body. Breast pain, especially around the areola may also be felt due to antidepressants or if you are medication to treat infertility.
Presence of Tumors
You experience sore breasts but aren't pregnant, so what may be the reason? You aren't even on birth control pills. The reason why there is a sore feeling in the breasts can be due to the presence of cysts or tumors. Cysts are a mass of hardened tissue which may develop in the breast and can be felt as hard lumps. They may be benign or malignant in nature.
The sore and tender breasts can be a sign of an underlying disease. The first sign of breast cancer, specially in case of inflammatory breast cancer, is severe breast pain and a sore sensation. If this is the case, then you may have to visit the doctor for the staging of this life-threatening disease and also to rule out any complications.
It is necessary to recognize the signs of breast cancer to prevent it from metastasizing to other parts of the body, which may prove fatal.
Other Non-Pathological Reasons
There are also several other causes of soreness in breasts. A common reason may be an ill fitting bra, which may cause tension in the breast muscles Wearing a supportive and comfortable bra is the answer to solve this annoying condition.
Excess intake of caffeine in the form of coffee, beverages, energy drinks, tea, etc. are also some culprits that cause soreness in the breasts. To avoid this, reduced and controlled intake of beverages is advisable. Instead drink plenty of water and fluids or you can even opt for fresh fruit juices.
Relieving Breast Soreness
There are several means by which this discomfort can be alleviated. Mentioned here are a few remedies which will help soothe the sore feeling in the breasts.
➞ A warm or cold compress applied on the breast can reduce irritation in the tissues. Cold cabbage leaves can work wonders when it comes to controlling soreness.
➞ Massaging your breasts is another effective way to reduce tenderness. A good massage helps improve blood circulation and triggers the release of toxins through the lymphatic system, which helps ease the pain.
➞ Since hormonal fluctuations are also responsible for this condition, taking birth control pills, to balance the hormone levels, will be helpful. However, the pills should be taken only after consulting your doctor.
➞ In case of swelling and inflammation on either breast, ibuprofen can be taken. This drug (to be taken as prescribed) helps reduce pain in the breasts.
Though sore breasts are not always a cause of grave concern, it is never too late to seek medical attention for the exact diagnosis of this condition. Timely medical intervention will help keep serious disorders like breast tumors and cancer at bay. Take care!
Disclaimer: This information is meant for educational purposes only and does not intend to supplant the advice of a healthcare practitioner.