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Why your breasts get sore before your period and what to do about it

Breast tenderness before your period is normal.

Why do we get sore nipples before a period? [fluxies]

Breast soreness before a period is a common experience for many women, causing discomfort and concern.

This is medically known as cyclical mastalgia and is a normal part of the menstrual cycle for a lot of people.

But what causes this discomfort?

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The menstrual cycle is governed by fluctuations in hormone levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone. These hormones prepare the body for potential pregnancy each month, affecting various bodily systems, including the breasts.

  1. Estrogen: In the first half of the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels rise, leading to the growth of the milk ducts in the breasts. This increase in estrogen can cause the breasts to feel fuller and heavier.
  2. Progesterone: In the second half of the cycle, after ovulation, progesterone levels increase, causing the milk glands in the breasts to enlarge. This enlargement can contribute to breast tenderness and soreness.

These hormonal changes cause the breasts to swell and can increase sensitivity, leading to discomfort or pain before the onset of menstruation. Once menstruation starts, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, and breast soreness usually subsides.

While hormones play a significant role in premenstrual breast soreness, other factors can intensify the discomfort:

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  • Water retention: Hormonal fluctuations can also lead to water retention, making the breasts feel swollen and sensitive.
  • Diet: High intake of caffeine, salt, and fatty foods can worsen breast soreness.
  • Stress: Stress can impact hormone levels and may increase the severity of premenstrual symptoms, including breast tenderness.

There are several ways to alleviate breast discomfort before your period:

  1. Wear supportive bras: A well-fitted, supportive bra can reduce breast movement and alleviate pain.
  2. Limit caffeine and salt: Reducing caffeine and salt intake before your period can help minimise bloating and breast tenderness.
  3. Use heat or cold packs: Applying warm or cold compresses to your breasts can relieve pain and swelling.
  4. Over-the-counter pain relievers: Non-prescription pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage soreness.
  5. Stress management: Techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can help reduce stress and may lessen premenstrual discomfort.
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While breast soreness before a period is typically normal, it's essential to pay attention to your body. If you notice unusual symptoms, such as a lump in your breast, discharge from your nipples, or if the pain is severe and not relieved by over-the-counter medications, it's important to consult with a medical professional. These could be signs of a more serious condition that requires medical attention.

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This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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