Mastalgia: Hormone Causing Sore Breast

  • 12 days ago
4 minute read.
Mastalgia: Hormone Causing Sore Breast

Have you ever experienced a persistent, nagging ache in your breasts that just won't go away? That discomfort you feel, known as mastalgia or breast pain, is something that many women go through at some point in their lives. It can range from a mild annoyance to a throbbing pain.

Imagine waking up one morning, and as you go about your daily routine, you notice a dull, persistent ache in one or both of your breasts. The discomfort lingers throughout the day, making simple tasks like reaching for items on a high shelf or even getting dressed uncomfortable. This scenario is all too familiar for many women who experience mastalgia, a condition that affects up to 70% of women at some point in their lives.

So, whether you're experiencing mild discomfort or severe pain, you're not alone, and there are ways to find relief. Join us as we delve into all about mastalgia – breast pain, its causes, and treatments.

What is Mastalgia?

Mastalgia refers to any discomfort or pain in the breast or underarm region. It can range from mild to severe and may occur cyclically or non-cyclically. Cyclic mastalgia typically occurs in a woman's menstrual cycle, while non-cyclic mastalgia can happen at any time.

Causes of Mastalgia

  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels throughout the menstrual cycle can lead to breast tenderness and pain. This cyclic mastalgia is most common in premenopausal women.
  • Fibrocystic Changes: Fibrocystic breast changes involve the development of non-cancerous lumps or cysts in the breast tissue, which can cause discomfort and pain.
  • Trauma or Injury: Physical trauma or injury to the breast can result in acute mastalgia. This may occur due to accidents, sports-related injuries, or surgical procedures.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as hormonal therapies, antidepressants, and some contraceptive pills, may contribute to breast pain as a side effect.
  • Breast Conditions: Conditions like mastitis (breast infection), benign breast tumors, and breast cancer can also cause breast pain, although this is less common.

Also Check: Seven common reasons for breast pain

Categories of Breast Pain

  1. Cyclic Mastalgia: Cyclic mastalgia is breast pain that occurs due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. It typically happens before menstruation and resolves with the start of menstruation. The pain is often dull or aching, and breasts may feel tender or swollen. It's caused by hormonal fluctuations, particularly estrogen and progesterone, affecting breast tissue.
  2. Non-cyclic Mastalgia: Non-cyclic mastalgia is breast pain unrelated to the menstrual cycle. It can occur at any time and has various causes, such as trauma, medications, or underlying breast conditions. The pain can be sharp, burning, or throbbing, and it may affect one or both breasts. Non-cyclic mastalgia is less common but can still significantly impact daily life. It's important to consult a healthcare provider for persistent or severe breast pain for proper evaluation and management.

Treatments for Breast Pain

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate breast pain by reducing inflammation and discomfort.
  • Hormonal Therapies: For women with severe cyclic mastalgia, hormonal treatments such as oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy may help regulate hormone levels and alleviate symptoms.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Wearing a well-fitted supportive bra, reducing caffeine intake, and managing stress through relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can help reduce breast pain.
  • Prescription Medications: In cases of persistent or severe mastalgia, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications like danazol or tamoxifen to help manage symptoms.
  • Surgical Intervention: In rare cases where other treatments are ineffective, surgery may be considered to remove fibrocystic tissue or cysts causing breast pain.

Healthy Home Remedies for Mastalgia

  • Warm Compress: Applying a warm compress to the breasts can help relieve discomfort by increasing blood flow and reducing muscle tension.
  • Dietary Adjustments: Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in caffeine and saturated fats, may help alleviate breast pain for some women.
  • Flaxseed: Flaxseed is another natural remedy that may help alleviate breast pain due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Adding ground flaxseed to your diet or taking flaxseed oil supplements may provide relief for some women.

Also Check: ​​5 Ways To Take Care Of Your Breast Health

Diet Plan

Does Diet Affect Mastalgia?

While the link between diet and mastalgia is not fully understood, some women find that certain dietary changes can help alleviate breast pain. Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding foods high in saturated fats, and increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial for managing mastalgia symptoms.


Mastalgia, or breast pain, is a common issue experienced by many women at some point in their lives. While it is often benign and manageable with self-care measures, persistent or severe breast pain should be evaluated by a healthcare provider to rule out underlying health concerns. By understanding the causes, types, and treatment options for mastalgia, women can take proactive steps to alleviate discomfort and improve their overall breast health.

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