Menopause and Breast Pain: What to Know

Menopause and Breast Pain: What to Know

Sometimes, it can feel as if breast pain is just par for the course when you’re a woman!

And unfortunately, sore boobs are not confined to just pregnancy and periods.

If menopause is bringing on a host of uncomfortable symptoms for you, including breast pain, you’re not alone.

In fact, menopause and breast pain often go hand in hand.

But is it par for the course, or something a little more concerning?

Breathe and relax - we’ve got all you need to know.

In this article: 📝

  • Is breast pain common during menopause?
  • How does menopause breast pain feel?
  • How long does perimenopause breast pain last?
  • How do I get rid of hormonal breast pain?

Is breast pain common during menopause?

Yep, absolutely. But before we get into this, let’s do a quick refresh of what menopause is.

Menopause is the phase in time where it’s been 12 months since your last period.

The months and years leading up to this time are called “perimenopause”.

After you hit that 12-month mark, you are “post-menopausal”.

During perimenopause, your hormones are like an airplane that is making a rocky descent onto the menopause landing strip.

These hormonal fluctuations are the cause of many of the symptoms you might experience during this time.

Often when we talk about “menopause symptoms,” what we’re really talking about are perimenopause symptoms.

Breast pain – known medically as mastalgia – can, unfortunately, be common throughout our lives as women, whether it’s due to periods, pregnancy, or menopause.

The most common type of breast pain is known as cyclic mastalgia, and it relates to your hormone levels.

This could lead to swelling, tenderness, and lumpiness.

And since hormones fluctuate a lot during perimenopause, this can be a peak time for breast pain.

Your breasts might also be sore for reasons that are not related to hormones or menopause.

Anything from an injury to certain medications can cause breast pain. If you have breast pain and you’re not sure what’s causing it, it never hurts to contact your doctor.

How does menopause breast pain feel?

Hormonal changes can cause fluids to build up in the breasts, which is usually the most common source of menopause breast pain.

Estrogen and progesterone work to increase the size and number of the ducts and milk glands, causing the breasts to retain water.

Typically, the pain will be felt in both breasts at the same time.

Breast tenderness and increased sensitivity, sometimes all the way into the armpit area, is a common symptom.

You might also feel a throbbing or burning sensation in one or both breasts, rather than the dull, heavy pain commonly associated with periods.

You might also notice your breasts changing size or shape. And if you have larger breasts, you might start to get back pain, too.

Many people also struggle with erect or sore nipples during menopause.

How long does perimenopause breast pain last?

Unfortunately, during the perimenopause phase, it’s normal to feel like breast pain you’re experiencing just keeps coming back over and over again with no real warning.

Your pain will very much depend on the current levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body, and since they’re constantly and unpredictably fluctuating right now, it makes it quite difficult to predict when your pain will ease a little.

So the real answer to this is one you probably don’t want to hear: perimenopause breast pain can last for months or even years – with it fluctuating between better and worse days.

But as your hormones settle once you become post-menopausal, you can expect that the breast pain will ease a little, too.

It’s a little more unusual to get breast pain after menopause, but it’s not unheard of.

It’s less likely to be related to hormonal changes, unless you’re receiving Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which can induce breast pain and swelling.

Other medications, injury, or poor bra support tend to be the most common reasons for postmenopause breast pain.

How do I get rid of hormonal breast pain?

As with other symptoms, breast tenderness during menopause will tend to wane with time as you go through the different stages of menopause.

There’s generally no reason to be worried about your pain unless it’s so severe or constant that it’s significantly impacting your daily life.

If your pain is severe and constant, or is simply interfering with your daily life, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.

They can offer you advice on how to relieve breast pain during menopause as well as treat any other symptoms you might be experiencing.

And as we said, it’s possible your pain might have another cause, such as an injury, in which case you would want to get that looked at as well.

One of the best things you can do is make sure you’re giving your boobs enough support by wearing a well-fitted, supportive bra.

This is especially important if you have larger breasts, but it can be difficult to get right if your boobs are changing shape or size during menopause.

That extra support will make a lot of difference, though, so make sure to get fitted professionally and pick something supportive.

It can also help to massage your breasts when they’re feeling achy, or use a warm compress to help ease the pain.

Using over-the-counter medications is another option to help stave off the worst of your symptoms.

There are also plenty of non-medical treatments you can try to combat hormonal aches and pains while going through menopause: check out our guides to menopause supplements, oils, and natural remedies if you’re looking for ways to make the hormonal rollercoaster a little smoother.

For instance, some women report relief of symptoms with supplements like evening primrose oil.

Less caffeine and increased exercise can help, too.

That said, you may also want to consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which can relieve a lot of perimenopausal symptoms, including sore breasts.

Speak to your doctor to see if HRT might help ease your symptoms.

Menopause and breast pain will feel different for everyone, so it’s important to find a treatment that works for you and the specific symptoms you’re going through.

Remember, it won’t last forever!

If you’re looking for support during perimenopause, menopause, and beyond, head over to the Peanut community.

There are loads of women there who are going through the same things you are. Good luck!


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