As the women go through perimenopause and into menopause, the body undergoes hormonal fluctuations which are responsible for breast soreness or tenderness along with several other physical changes. Breast Soreness after menopause usually lasts a duration of 5 to 6 months during which there are drastic changes. The pain may persist for a longer duration in those who are on hormonal replacement therapy.
Symptoms of breast soreness
- Breast pain and tenderness
- Swollen breasts
- Changes in size and shape of the breast
- Night sweats
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood disorders
- Sleeping problem
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Decrease in libido.
Causes of breast soreness
During the time of perimenopause, when your body is undergoing several changes, there is a dramatic fluctuation of hormones namely progesterone and estrogen. The fluctuation of hormones may cause you to experience several symptoms, soreness being one of them. The body does not enter menopause suddenly, there is a transitional period in which the hormonal fluctuations are taking place, ranging from a duration of 4 to 8 years. This is the time when the menstrual cycle is irregular and other symptoms such as vaginal dryness and hot flashes are experienced.
- Females on hormonal replacement therapy
- Females in the age group of 40 to 50
- Women who are on specific medications for example; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), diuretics, or methyldopa
- Obese women with larger breasts
- Women with mastitis or fibrocystic breasts.
Management of breast soreness after menopause
A person is declared to have reached menopause after a menstruation-free duration of 12 months. A detailed history of duration, character and associated symptoms of breast pain is taken. Clinical breast examination along with a mammogram or ultrasound may also be prescribed in case of any abnormal findings.
There is no proper way to prevent breast soreness after menopause completely, but some steps that can help with the discomfort include:
- Avoid the use of caffeine
- Try not to take fatty foods
- Wear properly fitted bras, or a sports bra
- Exercise regularly
- Try yoga and other stress-releasing exercises.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers are taken
- Topical analgesics are also helpful
- Vitamin therapy includes vitamins B and E
- Omega 3 fatty acids and Fish oil
- Wear a properly fitted bra that supports your breast
- Use a heating pad to relieve the pain
- Take hot showers
- Limit your caffeine intake
- Avoid smoking
- Abstain from taking antidepressants, specifically SSRIs
- Use evening primrose oil which has several benefits for mastalgia
When to consult a doctor?
Breast soreness disappears once you enter menopause. If it does not go away and is accompanied by other symptoms such as nipple discharge, the formation of new lumps, or any other sign, you should book an appointment with your doctor for a detailed breast examination and find help regarding your condition.
Is breast soreness after menopause, a sign of cancer?
No, breast pain or soreness is very rarely associated with cancer. soreness or tenderness is only due to dramatic fluctuations in hormone levels in the body.
What are other changes that occur along with breast soreness?
The breast may change in size and shape and become saggy due to the loss of fatty tissue.
Is it normal to have breast pain after menopause?
No, breast pain after menopause is not normal and has an underlying cause to it. You should book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible and find out the cause behind mastalgia/breast pain.