Breast tenderness – What Could It Mean

breast tenderness
We’ve all been there. You notice that your breasts are feeling a bit tender. Wearing your bra is uncomfortable and so is touching your breasts or lying on your chest.

It is probably nothing serious, but you still panic and feel something is horribly wrong. A look at the most common causes of breast tenderness should reassure you.

There are many potential reasons why your breasts are sore or tender. Most of them are not particularly serious and they are fairly commonplace. In this article we explore some the reasons why your breasts might feel tender.

1. You need a new bra

This one might be the easiest to fix. A poorly fit bra will not give your girls the proper support. It might be too tight in places and cut off circulation a bit. It might squeeze your breasts. Do you see marks on your skin at your shoulders or under your breasts when you take off your bra?

Does your bra look like it doesn’t quite fit right? Go to a store where you can get fitted for a bra. Your breasts will feel better and you will look better.

2. Your workout is intense

If you are working out hard then you need a good sports bra. This is doubly true if you are well endowed. The bigger your breasts are the more support they need when you are exercising.

Guys wear jock straps for a reason when they work out and you a need a good sports bra for much the same reason. Gravity will do a number on your dangly bits when you exercise.

3. Speaking of that workout…

Your boobs are like any other part of you; they can sustain an injury. If you get hit in the chest, if you strain the wrong muscle, or if squish them then your breasts might feel sore and tender.

Make sure your form is correct when you are working out and make sure you are wearing a well-fitted sports bra for support. I would hate to apply ice to my girls!

4. Your breasts are lumpy

Your breasts might be naturally lumpy. It is a condition called fibrocystic breasts. It means your breast tissue is naturally a bit lumpy. The lumps are not tumors and they are not cancerous. They are fluid-filled cysts. They are most likely to be tender right before you get your period.

This is one of the reasons why regular self-exams of your breasts are important. They allow you to distinguish between any natural lumpiness in your breasts and the appearance of new growths that might be tumors. Getting to know the natural feel of your breasts is so important!

5. You have an infection

This typically occurs during breastfeeding. If your milk ducts do not properly drain, then they might become infected.

It is called Breastfeeding Mastitis and it can be painful. It can also cause discolored discharge from your nipples.

6. Speaking of breastfeeding…

It is certainly common to suffer from discomfort and tenderness of the breasts when you are breastfeeding.

It is hardly surprising when you stop to realize that the level of milk in your breasts is fluctuating during the nursing process and when you are producing more milk between feedings. Added to that is the fact that the baby is latching onto your nipple and aggressively sucking.

Of course, that leaves your nipples and breasts feeling tender and sore. It can also cause the skin around your nipples to become dry and cracked. A good moisturizer can be your best friend to soothe the skin there.

7. It can start with puberty

Even before a girl gets her first period her breasts are starting to grow. That “growth spurt” might lead to some tenderness.

This might lead to a real panic for a girl who is not used to having breasts yet and who has never experienced breast tenderness before. It is commonplace, though. In fact, breast tenderness is often a sign that a girl is getting close to having her first period.

8. It’s hormonal

Breast tenderness is common before and during your period. Estrogen causes your breast ducts to enlarge. Progesterone causes your milk glands to swell. It is one of the most common symptoms of PMS. This tenderness usually peaks during the week before you get your period and fades away during your period.

It does vary from woman to woman. Breast tenderness is also common during menopause, as your body undergoes another shift in hormone production.

9. Congratulations, you’re pregnant!

Breast tenderness is a well-known symptom of pregnancy. Once again, hormones play a role. As your body undergoes the hormonal storm required to sustain a pregnancy, it will produce estrogen and progesterone, which prepare your breasts to produce milk.

Most women notice a visible increase in the size or shape of their breasts, along with breast tenderness, when they become pregnant.

10.  It probably isn’t breast cancer

Don’t panic. Breast tenderness is not a common symptom of breast cancer. Any tenderness you feel is likely to be associated with the benign reasons listed above. The best thing you can do if you are concerned about breast cancer is to perform regular self-exams on your breasts.

Get to know them and how they feel. You are more likely to detect small changes and lumps that indicate a problem than even your doctor. Keep up with the self-exams and consult your doctor about any changes to your breasts that cause you concern.

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