Let’s take a quick tour through breast pain and its causes (plus when to see your doctor).
In this article 📝
- Boobs sore before your period?
- Boobs sore after your period?
- When should I be concerned about breast pain?
Boobs sore before your period?
If you regularly get sore breasts in the run-up to your period, that’s what’s known as cyclic breast pain. It’s super common, affecting about 70% of women.
It tends to hit in the second half of your menstrual cycle (AKA the luteal phase). That is, after you’ve ovulated.
And it’s thought to be linked to the hormonal changes that take place during your cycle.
Your boobs might feel achy, tender, and heavy, or you might even experience a sharp, shooting pain.
They may also start to feel lumpy or swollen in the few days before your period starts.
Fortunately, the pain tends to disappear once your period has arrived.
While it’s certainly annoying, cyclic breast pain isn’t generally something to worry about.
How long do your breasts stay sore after ovulation?
It’s most common to feel cyclic breast pain five to 10 days before your period starts.
Ovulation happens around the middle of your cycle, which is about 14 days before your period (for an average 28-day cycle).
So you could start to feel breast pain just a few days after ovulating, and it could last until the start of your period.
How long should breast pain last after your period?
Cyclic breast pain normally goes away pretty quickly once you’ve got your period.
So if you’re still sore after your period has finished, the pain might not be linked to your cycle. (Keep reading for possible causes.)
Boobs sore after your period?
I got my period but my breasts are still sore! you cry. What’s going on?
Well, for starters, breast pain after your period is less likely to be linked to your hormones.
In other words, it’s non-cyclic breast pain. It can affect one or both of your breasts, and there are lots of possible causes. Let’s go through a few of them:
Breast pain after period: Causes
- Your bra. If your bra isn’t giving you enough support, the ligaments that connect your breasts to your chest can get overstretched and become painful. Check that your bra is the right size and that it’s giving you the right amount of support.
- Injury. Injury to your breast from playing sports or undergoing surgery can cause pain that hangs around for anything from a few days to a few weeks. 🤕
- Pregnancy. It’s possible that what you thought was your period was actually implantation bleeding or early pregnancy spotting. In that case, your sore boobs could be an early sign of pregnancy. 🤰
- Breastfeeding. Your boobs can get tender and painful when you’re breastfeeding, especially if you have mastitis or a yeast infection.
- Medication. Breast pain can be a side effect of certain medications, including some hormone treatments, antibiotics, and antidepressants. 💊
- Breast cyst. Another possible cause of sore boobs after your period is a painful breast cyst—a non-cancerous, fluid-filled lump in your breast. These often clear up on their own, but if you find a lump in your breast, it’s best to get it checked out by your doctor.
- Breast cancer. Breast pain isn’t a common symptom of breast cancer, but it is possible. In particular, a rare type of cancer called inflammatory breast cancer can cause your breasts to become painful, swollen, and red or discolored.
- Chest pain, not breast pain. The pain might feel like it’s coming from your breasts, but it could actually be coming from your chest. In that case, it’s called extramammary pain. It could be caused by a bone fracture, a pulled muscle, or another chest injury.
When should I be concerned about breast pain?
As we saw above, if you regularly get sore boobs before your period, that’s not something to worry about.
Unless it’s causing you severe discomfort—then, of course, ask your doctor what you can do to ease the pain.
If you’re experiencing unusual breast pain after your period, though, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.
Especially if you also have:
- A lump in your breast.
- Symptoms of an infection, such as fever, redness, or swelling.
- Severe pain.
You’re not alone - our Peanut community is always here to help.
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