Breast pain is any discomfort or pain in the breast.
Pain – breast; Mastalgia; Mastodynia; Breast tenderness
There are many possible causes for breast pain. For example, hormone level changes from menstruation or pregnancy often cause breast tenderness. Some amount of swelling and tenderness just before your period is normal.
Some amount of breast tenderness is normal. The discomfort may be caused by hormone changes from:
- Menopause (unless a woman is taking hormone replacement therapy)
Pregnancy — breast tenderness tends to be more common during the first trimester and in women who become pregnant at a young age
Puberty in both girls and boys
Soon after having a baby, a woman’s breasts may become swollen with milk. This can be very painful. If you also have an area of redness, call your health care provider.
Breastfeeding itself may also cause breast pain.
Certain medications may also cause breast pain, including:
- Oxymetholone (Anadrol)
- Digitalis preparations
- Methyldopa (Aldomet)
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
If you have painful breasts, the following may help:
- Take medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Use heat or ice on the breast
- Wear a well-fitting bra that supports your breasts
There is no good evidence to show that reducing the amount of fat, caffeine, or chocolate in your diet helps reduce breast pain. Vitamin E, thiamine, magnesium, and evening primrose oil are not harmful, but most studies have not shown any benefit. Talk to your doctor or nurse before starting any medicine or supplement.
Certain birth control pills may help ease breast pain. Ask your health care provider if this therapy is right for you.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have:
- Bloody or clear discharge from your nipple
- Given birth within the last week and your breasts are swollen or hard
- Noticed a new lump with the pain that does not go away after your menstrual period
- Persistent, unexplained breast pain
- Signs of a breast infection, including local redness, pus, or fever
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your health care provider will perform a breast examination and ask questions about your breast pain. You may have a
Your health care provider may schedule a follow-up visit if your symptoms have not gone away in a given period of time. You may be referred to a specialist.
There is not really any way to prevent most breast pain, but wearing a well-fitting bra for support may help.