Mastalgia or breast pain as it is commonly known is the most frequent breast-related complaint among women. Almost all women experience it and most associate breast ache to diseases as deadly and frightening as breast cancer. But more often this is not the underlying factor.
Here are few common causes for breast pain:
1. Hormonal Changes:
Teenagers generally feel pain in their breast during the start of their menstrual cycle. Women suffer breast pain during their fertile years, halfway through their menstrual cycle coinciding with ovulation and the days before menstruation due to overlapping of the two cycle phases, causing a sudden change in hormone levels. Oral contraceptive pills and hormone replacements also cause pain in the breasts.
Breast pain is one of the first signs of pregnancy. The breasts tend to get more sensitive during this time and this is more common among pregnant women of a younger age or during the first pregnancy. Pain is normally experienced during the first trimester. The breasts increase in size and the blue veins become visible indicating an increase in the blood flow.
3. Breast Feeding:
A woman who has just delivered a baby will experience breast pain if she breast feeds her baby regularly. This is due to an increase in the milk production. However in case you find the pain to be frequent or intense, or if it doesn’t improve in sometime, get in touch with your gynecologist to rule out mastitis.
Mastitis is basically inflammation of the breasts caused due to the obstruction of milk ducts. This may happen due to infection in the breasts caused by bacteria, virus, or fungus. The symptoms for mastitis include reddening of the breasts, pain, and fever.
Breast cysts are liquid filled sacks that are formed inside the breasts. These cysts tend to be benign and cause intense pain. You can easily feel the big-sized cysts by touching them. However, small-sized cysts require a mammogram or a sonogram to be detected.
Breast abscess is caused due to accumulation of pus in the mammary tissue. It is basically an infection caused by bacteria that enters the breasts through cracked nipples or from breastfeeding. Breast abscess tends to cause intense pain and needs to be examined and treated properly.
7. Breast Cancer:
As mentioned earlier, many women relate breast pain to breast cancer however it is not always the case. Breast pain is one symptom which takes the longest time to appear whilst you are suffering from breast cancer. It is possible for a woman to detect abnormalities in the breasts and get it treated on time.