Women can have breast tenderness, which is described as having pain, particularly on touching the breasts. Tender breast before period is extremely common and is associated with swelling and soreness of the breast. This is a relatively normal phenomenon before having a period and usually disappears as soon as you begin to menstruate.
Breast Tenderness Before Period, Why?
While breast tenderness before your period is not usually dangerous, it can be frustrating. There are several reasons why you might be experiencing this particular symptom.
1. Premenstrual Syndrome
Swelling and tenderness of the breasts before the period is very common. It can be part of a collection of symptoms known as PMS or premenstrual syndrome. No one knows why PMS occurs but, experts feel it is related to the fluctuation of progesterone and estrogen (two female hormones), just prior to menstruating.
The hormonal changes usually occur after ovulation, although this can vary from woman to woman. Estrogen is the hormone that results in breast duct enlargement. Progesterone is the hormone that causes swelling of the milk glands. These things can lead to the tenderness and swelling of the breasts before a period. It is thought that these two hormones increase dramatically during the second part of the cycle or on days 14 to 28 of a normal 28-day menstrual cycle. Estrogen goes up primarily in the mid-portion of the cycle, while progesterone increases in the week before you menstruate. If you drink too many caffeinated beverages, eat foods high in fat, or have a family history of PMS, you are more likely to have breast tenderness before period.
Besides breast tenderness, other symptoms of PMS include the following:
- Weight gain
- Increased aggressiveness
- Feeling bloated
- Difficulty in concentration
- Pain in the back or head
- Overeating from food cravings
- Crying spells
- Depressive symptoms
- Anxious symptoms
- Mood Swings
2. Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Breast tenderness before period can also be an issue with fibrocystic breast disease. When you have fibrocystic breasts, you have breast tissue that is very lumpy or rope-like. This type of tissue is considered glandular breast tissue or nodular breast tissue. It is a common condition, occurring in about half of all females at some point or another. The exact reason behind getting fibrocystic breast disease isn’t clear, but it is believed that estrogen and possibly other reproductive hormones can play a part in having the condition. Birth control pills can also result in fibrocystic breast changes.
If you have breast tenderness before your menstrual period, know that this is normal and will go away when the menstrual period is over. If you experience these symptoms, however, let your physician know.
- New lumps in the breast that are only in one breast or that change over time.
- Brown or bloody fluid coming from the nipples.
- Pain that interferes with normal daily activities.
- Pain and swelling that does not resolve after the period is over with.
How to Deal With Breast Tenderness Before Period
There are some simple things you can do to relieve breast tenderness. These include the following:
1. Give Extra Breast Support
Try using a sport bra that can snuggly wrap the breast. Try wearing one at night if you have significant tenderness.
2. Watch What You Eat
You should stick to a low salt, low fat, and high carb diet to reduce breast tenderness before period. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine, which make breast tenderness worse. Try a diet high in vegetables and dark leafy greens to relieve your breast tenderness without medications. Eat a diet that has a lot of collard greens, spinach, broccoli, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.
3. Increase Magnesium and Vitamin E Intake
Magnesium and vitamin E are known to lessen breast tenderness. You can get them in a supplement or through eating foods like hazelnuts, peanuts, avocadoes, spinach, carrots, oat bran, brown rice, bananas and oils made from corn, olives, safflower or canola.
4. Herbal Remedies
You can naturally reduce breast tenderness by consuming some herbs. Many can be made into tea, which you can drink instead of caffeinated beverages.
- Dandelion tea is especially used because it acts as a diuretic, reducing the bloated feeling and breast swelling by removing water from your body.
- Similar herbs you can use include juniper tea, cypress tea, and rosemary tea. The pain can be lessened if you add chaste berry and evening primrose.
Herbs you can use as an oil or cream applied directly to the breasts include grapeseed oil or almond oil in which you can mix rosemary before massaging.
If you cannot control the swelling, tenderness and pain in the breasts with what have been mentioned above, you can use medications. Some medications that work well for breast pain include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Naprosyn), which are available over the counter. They are also useful for the uterine cramping found in the premenstrual state. If you want some form of contraception as well, you can use birth control pills, which are excellent choices for reducing symptoms of breast tenderness before period.
You can also watch the video below to learn some tips for relieving breast tenderness.