Up to 70% of women experience breast tenderness or soreness at some point in their lives. Breast pain, or mastalgia, is caused by fluctuations in hormones, mainly the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone. There's no need to be alarmed if you have noticed constant or pulsating breast pain during menopause.
Top 6 Ways to Alleviate Tenderness
Breast pain and tenderness can be incredibly uncomfortable and annoying, interfering with daily life. However, there is a number of ways that you can alleviate breast pain and prevent it from returning.
Check your bra
Make sure you're wearing the right bra size and style. Poorly-fitted bras can exacerbate breast soreness. Some women choose to invest in a bra with a larger cup size for when their breasts swell during their period, but you should only do this if wearing your normal bra becomes painful. Also, be sure to wear a sports bra when you exercise and if you need additional support during sleep.
Some methods of relaxation therapy, such as meditation or yoga, may ease anxiety and stress, helping to decrease breast pain. Likewise, deep breathing exercises can help assuage sharp pains in the moment.
Heat it up or cool it down
Hot or cold compresses will help soothe the pain. Try using a heating pad, hot water bottle, or ice pack and press it against sore areas.
Cut the caffeine
Because it is a stimulant, caffeine dilates blood vessels, which can make breast pain worse. This affects some women more strongly than others, so test and see if you're one of them. If so, gradually reducing your caffeine consumption may help.
Have a Massage
Muscle pain in your chest or upper body may be contributing to breast pain. Try massaging your breasts or find a specialist that does relaxation massages.
Use Common Painkillers
Something as simple as heading for the medicine cabinet can ease your breast discomfort. Try taking ibuprofen, which is found in several name-brand pain relievers. If you are taking other medications, consult a pharmacist before taking ibuprofen.
Several types of breast pain exist, including cyclical, noncyclical and extra mammary, though most menopausal and perimenopausal women are affected by cyclical pain. If you are concerned about your breast pain, please consult a doctor.
Read more about remedies for breast tenderness.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.