Does Birth Control Lead to Breast Tenderness or Pain?

By Sarah E. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020


Birth control pills are the most common method of contraception among women. It contains hormones that control the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy, although its use does not come without a cost. Continue reading to learn about the relationship between breast tenderness and birth control so you can know what best measures to take concerning your reproductive health.

Women's bodies need time to adjust to external hormones

Breast Tenderness and Birth Control: The Link

It is common to experience breast tenderness when starting the pill as the increased amounts of hormones can cause fluid retention, which - in turn - causes breast tenderness and pain.

If you suffer from this water retention, it is likely that the discomfort will diminish within three months of being on the pill.

Other possible side effects of birth control are nausea, mood changes, weight fluctuations, and headaches, while serious side effects include abdominal pain, chest pain, eye or speech problems, or severe leg pain.

The pill can also temporarily make menstrual bleeding unpredictable. So, your periods may initially be longer; you may experience bleeding between periods, or you may not having periods at all.

Should I Be Worried?

In general, breast tenderness should not arouse a need for concern.

With or without birth control, a woman's breasts are subject to the hormonal fluctuations that take place from one menstrual cycle to the next.

Although some women immediately associate breast pain with an increased risk of breast cancer, this is not necessarily true.

Breast cancer signs are usually painless, which is why it's important to perform regular self-checks at least one a month.

However, if breast pain is continuous and lasts longer than three months, this might be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition. It's advisable to talk to a doctor.

Recommendations for Breast Tenderness and Pain

There are many different ways to treat breast pain caused by birth control. Try out the following suggestions and see if any are right for you:

  • Try a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

  • Avoid salty foods, which may cause your breasts to retain extra fluid.

  • Wear a comfortable, supportive bra, even at night if necessary.

  • Apply a warm (never hot) or cold compress for immediate relief.

Additionally, if breast tenderness becomes a constant problem, you can always talk to your doctor about a change to a different brand of birth control or a different method.

Many women find that a combination of lifestyle adjustments and alternative medicines work best in relieving breast tenderness and pain. Click on the following link to learn more about natural and effective breast pain treatments.

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