Sadly, a significant proportion of women will encounter some breast pain throughout the course of their life. While this is likely to cause some concern, most often it does not occur as a result of a worrying matter, and it is usually short-lived. For those who struggle to manage the pain, there are several treatment options that can be explored, including remedies and drugs. Some of the most effective and common medicine for breast pain include:
Although the reasons why remain unclear, it is known that breast pain occurs at certain points during the menstrual cycle - implying that the cause for it is related to hormonal fluctuations. This being the case, your doctor may prescribe oral contraceptives that are used to rebalance your hormones. However, breast pain might occur as a consequence of some types of oral contraception, due to their effects on the balance of reproductive hormones.
If this is the case, it is worth trying a different contraceptive pill, or even an entirely different type of birth control such as an injection or implant. You should talk to your doctor about the many options that are available to you like intrauterine device.
Hormonal treatments are not without side effects, they can sometimes lead to problems that many women deem worse than breast pain itself. Due to the hormonal changes you might notice a difference in breast size, hair growth, and voice pitch.
Some breast pain is caused by inflamed breast tissue, which can occur if it is exposed to bacteria - a condition seen mostly in breastfeeding women. For this disorder, there are various anti-inflammatory tablets and creams that are vastly effective in relieving tenderness and pain, and they are most often free from side effects. Some recommended options include:
Ibuprofen. A painkiller available over the counter without a prescription. It can be used to treat pain, swelling, and inflammation. Ibuprofen is available in many forms including tablet o topical cream.
Diclofenac. It is available in any pharmacy without prescription in tablet gel or injection form. It is advisable to take it for three days before seeking a doctor.
For women who prefer an alternative approach, advocates of natural medicine recommend using the following:
Vitamin E. Studies have shown that the regular administration of a vitamin E supplement, or increased consumption of foods such as almonds and avocado, can help to decrease breast pain experienced at a specific points of the menstrual cycle.
Evening primrose oil. The active ingredient in this supplement is gamolenic acid, and this is thought to influence the level of fatty acids in the cells that exist in breasts. Many women retain that a regular dose of evening primrose oil is effective in inhibiting breast pain; however, there is little scientific evidence to support this.
For many women, breast pain is infrequent and tolerable, but unfortunately some suffer with a more severe experience. If the latter is the case for you, it is recommendable to seek advice from your doctor in order for reasons to be explored. It should be reassuring to know; however, there are several simple measure that can be taken to alleviate the pain.
- Mayo Clinic. (2015). Breast pain. Retrieved May 29, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-pain/diagnosis-treatment/treatment/txc-20167434
- National Health Service UK. (2016). Breast pain. Retrieved May 29, 2017, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breastpaincyclical/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. (2015). Breast Pain (Mastalgia). Retrieved May 29, 2017, from http://www.salisbury.nhs.uk/InformationForPatients/Departments/BreastCare/benign/Pages/Breastpain.aspx
- Patient. (2016). Breast Pain. Retrieved May 29, 2017, from https://patient.info/health/breast-pain-leaflet