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Why Are My Breasts So Sore? Causes and Treatment for Sore Breasts

Updated on May 16, 2012
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Nicole is a registered nurse. She uses what she has learned on the job to inspire and encourage others to take control of their health.

Why are my breasts so sore?

If you're reading this article, you may be asking the question, "why are my breasts so sore?" This is actually a common condition for women all over the world for different reasons. First of all, scratch the breast cancer idea out of your head. Most of the time, breast cancer does not cause sore breasts unless there is an oversized lump causing the sore breasts. If you feel as if you have a protruding lump, go to the doctor's immediately.

That being said, let's dive into the most common causes that will answer the question, "why are my breasts so sore?"

1. PMS (premenstrual syndrome)

The first answer to the question, "why are my breasts so sore" is premenstrual syndrom or what most women refer to as PMS. During the few days before your menstruation, your body holds an excessive amount of water which causes bloating in the breasts and nipples. The bloating of the breasts during PMS causes slight stretching of the breast tissues thereby causing a case of sore breasts. So when you ask the question, "why are my breasts so sore?" consider the fact that your period might be a few days away.


The second common answer to the question "why are my breasts so sore" is possible pregnancy. Have you been trying to get pregnant? Are you using birth control, if not? It's quite possible that your case of sore breasts could be caused by the fact that you're pregnant. If you weren't looking to get pregnant, don't freak out just yet. Wait a couple of days to see if you're period arrives and if not, think about getting a home pregnancy test. If you were trying to get pregnant, you may have a reason to get excited! Of course sore breasts are not comfortable or pleasant by any means, but this may be a sign that you're cooking a bun in the oven. This cause to the question "why are my breasts so sore" can be attributed to hormonal changes in the first trimester of pregnancy, thereby causing extra bloodflow and stretching of the tissues in the breasts which can be attributed to your sore breasts.


If you're middle-aged or creeping towards middle-age (forties through sixties), and you're asking the question "why are my breasts so sore", this could be answered by the word menopause. This is especially a valid answer if you've noticed your periods slowing down or stopping altogether. Sore breasts during menopause are caused by hormonal changes, too. During this time in your life your estrogen and progesterone levels are altering and changes are occurring in your body. If you want validation of this answer to "why are my breasts so sore", please see your doctor for testing and treatment options.


A lesser common answer to "why are my breasts so sore" is cysts. Women in their thirties and forties are more prone to developing breast cysts, most of which don't cause any pain in the breasts. Some of these breast cysts can enlarge and cause sore breasts. If you feel a lump in your breast or breasts, see your doctor right away to rule out breast cancer (it most likely isn't), but also to determine if the breast cyst needs to be drained to reduce your sore breasts' pain.

There are other answers to the question "why are my breasts so sore"; however, these are the most common and should be considered carefully if you are experiencing sore breasts.


Treatment for Sore Breasts

If you're experiencing sore breasts caused by PMS or menopause, the easiest and best treatment for your sore breasts is to take a pain reliever. Aspirin, tylenol, aleve, or ibuprofen are all effective sore breasts relievers.

As for women who are pregnant or could be pregnant, it's safest to take a dose of tylenol to relieve your sore breasts. Aspirin and some other pain relievers aren't recommended for use during pregnancy, so go with tylenol to be safe.

For women who could have breast cysts, see your doctor to determine if you need the breast cyst(s) drained. The doctor will also tell you the best pain reliever for treatment of your sore boobs.

Hopefully this answered your question "why are my breasts so sore" and gave you some options for temporary and permanent treatment of sore breasts. Good luck and have a healthy life!


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