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  • Writer's pictureTheGyn Guru

The most common causes of breast pain

Nope, it's NOT breast cancer, but I know that's what you were worried about..

Breast pain is so common. I see many patients in the office every week complaining of breast pain. Most women are worried it's a sign of cancer, but that's usually not the case at all. These are the common causes of breast pain...

1. Lack of support

  • Your bra doesn't fit right, just not giving enough support.

  • This is common among ladies with larger breasts for sure.

  • It's best to get properly fitted for a bra, or try a more supportive type

2. Caffeine

A recent big increase in caffeine intake seems to correspond with new breast pain.

3. Increased estrogen

  • If pain occurs mid-cycle, or with recent start of birth control pills or HRT, that can be the cause.

  • Sometimes, there's a temporary cyst on the ovary producing some extra estrogen.

  • In any of these situations, this usually resolves over a month or two.

4. Underlying muscle pain

  • The pectoral muscles lay right under the breasts and you can pull or stain those muscles just as you can any other muscle.

  • If you've starting working out more or recently done some heavy lifting, this makes sense.

  • This will hurt more with movement for sure.

  • This will resolve within a few days with rest.

  • Ibuprofen would help.

5. Infection

  • Mastitis is an infection in the breast tissue and it is extremely painful.

  • It's certainly more common when breastfeeding, but possible when not as well (although rare).

  • There may be a red spot on the breast, which would be extremely painful to touch, and you can actually feel pretty sick with body aches and fever.

  • This would need to be treated with antibiotics, so you would need to evaluated by your healthcare provider.

6. New growth

  • It is possible there is a tumor or cyst that is causing some discomfort.

  • Do a breast exam, and if you feel a lump, go see your doctor ASAP.

So, if you're having breast pain:

1 - Get a properly-fitted and supportive bra

2 - Cut back on the caffeine

3 - Rest and take ibuprofen as needed

4 - Go see your doctor if you feel a lump, or if pain does not resolve over a few weeks

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