Breast Pain

Breast pain was among the first symptoms that I experienced.

I found it all very strange because the only time I could remember having breast pain was when I was pregnant with Anaïs. Then I remembered that I hadn’t had a period in a number of months and I was also feeling nauseous. A surge of rising panic spread through me as I rushed to the chemist and bought a handful of pregnancy tests. The test results reassured me that I wasn’t pregnant. But if I wasn’t pregnant, what was happening to my body?

I also found that the breast tenderness really put me off intimacy. The thought of someone touching my breasts made me feel quite ill.

I consulted Dr Google again and found an article linking breast pain to implants. Now, like a lot of women in the nineties, I wanted to look just like Pamela Anderson and so I had my boobs done. But after I read the article, I thought about it carefully and made the decision to have the implants removed. After the procedure, I felt a great sense of freedom. After all, 21 years of carrying the equivalent of two bags of sugar around with me had certainly taken its toll. I felt so much lighter and more agile. I did notice though that my breasts were still tender and sore. It wasn’t as bad as it had been before I had the implants removed but it was still noticeable. I also found that the breast tenderness really put me off intimacy. The thought of someone touching my breasts made me feel quite ill.

A dark cloud came over me again as I wondered whether the pain could be caused by the big C. I’m in the age group where breast cancer can be a concern and so I actually felt very relieved when I discovered that it was yet another symptom of the menopause. Breast pain and tenderness is more common during perimenopause as our hormones are in such a state of flux. It’s different from breast pain before or during your period. I have been told that menstrual breast pain usually feels like a dull ache while breast pain during perimenopause is more likely to feel like burning or soreness. This is due to the increasing levels of progesterone and decreasing levels of estrogen in our bodies.

My Top Tips

Try not to panic

The first thing I did was panic and it did very little to help the situation. Try talking to a trusted friend of family member about how your feeling. Sometimes just talking about things is enough to help you keep calm while you figure out what is happening.

Visit your GP

All women in the UK who are of screening age (50 to 70) and registered with a GP will be invited for breast screening every three years. When you visit your GP, tell them about all your symptoms. They may recommend a mammogram just in case but be assured that the breast pain is more than likely to be caused by hormonal fluctuations. Around 96 out of 100 women (96%) in the breast screening programme have a normal result.

Make sure you’re wearing the right bra

As I mentioned in my article about joint pain, the wrong bra fit can cause pain or make existing pain worse. In fact, one of the most common reasons for breast pain is an ill-fitting bra. If your bra is too tight or too loose the breast tissue is unsupported which can cause soreness and tenderness.

Massage your breasts

Try massaging your breasts with olive oil, coconut oil, or primrose oil as this can help to relieve pain and tenderness.

Quit smoking

Eliminate smoking as it prevents the body from adapting to hormone changes (and is linked to breast cancer).