The most common cause of breast pain and tenderness during menopause is hormone fluctuations. Just as with other hormonal changes during a woman's lifetime, the menopausal transition prompts changes in levels of estrogen and progesterone levels.

Generally speaking, the causes of breast pain depend on the type of breast pain experienced. While hormonal shifts are the most common cause of the breast pain during menopause, other factors can cause or contribute to breast pain. These rarer causes range from dietary issues to serious health concerns.

Read on to learn more about the common causes of breast pain.

Hormonal Causes

Hormonal change is the most common cause of breast pain and tenderness during menopause. During the menopausal transition, estrogen and progesterone levels become irregular. Spikes and dips in these hormone levels can lead some women to experience breast pain.

Breast pain can be caused by too little or too much estrogen or too little progesterone. No one specific hormone has been singled out as the sole contributor to breast pain.

Additionally, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) used during menopause can also cause breast pain and tenderness. This explains why some women on HRT continue to experience breast pain even after menopause has occurred.

In addition to hormonal causes, other, rarer factors can cause or contribute to breast pain in menopause. Read on to learn more.

Causes of breast pain

Rare Causes

While hormonal causes are most common reason behind breast pain in menopause, other factors can cause or contribute to breast pain. These are often non-cyclical causes of breast pain, which are less common in menopausal women.

Non-cyclic Causes of Breast Pain

  • Anatomical Factors
    • Breast cysts
    • Breast trauma
    • Prior breast surgery
    • Breast size
  • Breast Cancer
    • Rare; only 2 - 7% of women with breast cancer experience breast pain
  • Medication use
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Antidepressants
    • Hormone replacement
    • Cholesterol and heart drugs
  • Stress
  • Alcohol intake
  • Mastitis
Breast Pain Causes

Dietary Triggers for Breast Pain

  • Caffeine
  • High salt intake
  • Fatty foods
  • Alcohol

Lifestyle factors, such as diet and stress, can also trigger breast tenderness and pain during menopause. Every woman has different potential triggers, but the common ones to keep an eye our for include excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.

A high salt diet can increase breast swelling by causing fluid retention, which puts a strain on breast tissue.

Fortunately, avoiding dietary triggers is a good way to manage breast discomfort during menopause, but some women may need to go beyond that to alleviate more intense symptoms. Click on the following link to learn more about the different treatments for breast pain.

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