They come in millions of sizes and shapes, are unique like each of us, might be an object of desire, and even – according to legend – inspired the creation of… champagne glasses! What are we talking about? Women’s breasts, of course. Unfortunately, throughout our whole life, our busts give us not only reasons for joy but also a bit of trouble. Almost 70% of women complain about breast pain at some point in their lives (!), which tends to intensify around menopause. So what should you know about the sore chest and how to deal with it?
According to one legend, the shape of a “coupe” glass (for serving champagne) was supposedly modelled on the left breast of French queen Marie Antoinette, wife of King Louis XVI of France. As you can see, women’s chests have had great significance for centuries, not only for their owners. Unfortunately, not every story associated with this body part looks like a royal party. Most of us complain about breast pain at different stages of our lives – usually during PMS. But if you thought that once your period was over, sore breasts would no longer be a problem, we don’t have the best news.
While it is not an ‘obligatory’ symptom of menopause and there are some lucky women who do not experience it at all. But still, a significant proportion of us will have to face it at some stage during perimenopause. On the bright side – after the age of 50, these pains tend to be less severe and are sometimes easier to combat with home remedies.
Chest pain is not a sentence
Breast pain is SO common among women that it has even gained its own name – mastalgia – and there are two major types of it:
– cyclical mastalgia which is particularly intense for girls during puberty – the pain is then connected with the developing glandular tissue of the nipples and the production of female sex hormones.
– non-cyclical mastalgia – is the type that interests us the most and appears precisely in women entering menopause. In this case, the cause of the pain is the opposite of that in young women – the atrophy of the glandular tissue and the extinction of the functional function of the ovaries (decrease in progesterone and oestrogens) take place.
Many women who experience breast soreness associate it with the worst-case scenario – cancer. Which doesn’t have to be the case! In fact, in the vast majority of cases, the reasons for the discomfort are completely harmless and you can deal with it even at home.
A good diet is essential
We know full well that you’ve heard this many times, almost to the point of exhaustion. But good nutrition really is the foundation of wellbeing, and the right levels of vitamins and minerals can help to combat a whole host of ailments. So include in your menu a variety of fruit and vegetables, good fats and dairy. During menopause, supplements rich in B vitamins, among others, are also usually recommended as they can reduce breast sensitivity or swelling.
Invest in a good bra
Yes, dear ladies – an appropriately fitted bra is not only a chance to emphasize your curves in an appealing way, but also to reduce pain. A perfectly selected bra, preferably together with a bra fitter, will help to eliminate backache and also breast pain. And one more thing – the pressure of the seat belt in the car may also be the cause of discomfort. This is especially true for ladies with particularly large busts.
Give up your double espresso
Do you love coffee? We understand that perfectly. Unfortunately, too much caffeine can lead to water retention and breast hypersensitivity. So can strong tea or salt. So even if you’re tempted to reach for another cuppa during the day, replace it with a herbal infusion, some short exercise or… a nap! It’s even better for you!
Massage away the pain
Massage is fantastic – let’s face it. It relaxes you, calms you down and makes you feel like you’ve just been born again. But it’s not just about massaging your back or feet. Treat yourself to a gentle breast massage to deal with your sore breasts. For this, we recommend a warm (not hot!) aromatic bubble bath or a warm compress beforehand.
Don’t shy away from the doctor
Avoiding visits to the doctor is the most common cause of serious female problems. Specialists talk about it, the media write about it, and yet often we ourselves ignore these recommendations. And even though in most cases sore breasts do not have to be caused by a serious disease, it is always worth consulting a physician. Especially if you feel lumps in your breasts, the soreness lasts for a particularly long time or is accompanied by fever, contact your doctor. Some of these symptoms can be caused by harmless changes, such as cysts, which do not pose a health risk. However, to make sure that your signs are not a prelude to more serious problems, talk to your gynaecologist about any concerns you may have. And before you do, read our guide on how to get the most out of your doctor’s appointment.
Also, remember to always make time for regular check-ups. We know we all have our excuses and a million things to do and plans to make each day, but think of it this way: you deserve to make your health a priority. Everything else can wait a while you take care of yourself.