Could breast tenderness mean that I am pregnant?

    It is normal for a woman to experience breast tenderness after ovulation. Most of the time breast tenderness after ovulation is due to hormonal changes such as the increase in the hormone progesterone, which is produced by the corpus luteum, the area in the ovary where the egg originated.

    Breast tenderness because of pregnancy rarely if ever occurs before missing a period. If you missed your period and you have breast tenderness, do a pregnancy test and find out whether you are pregnant or not.

    Reasons for breast tenderness usually include:

    • Progesterone changes after ovulation
    • Menstruation
    • Pregnancy: Breast tenderness is often among the first symptoms of pregnancy, but as a sign of pregnancy it usually would not occur until after you miss your period
    • Puberty in both girls and boys
    • Breastfeeding
    • Approach of menopause (once your menstrual periods have stopped completely, breast tenderness often goes away unless you are taking hormone replacement therapy)

    Note: Intake of caffeine supposedly increases this sensation.

    Call your doctor if you have:

    • Given birth within the last week and your breasts are swollen or hard
    • Noticed a new lump associated with the pain that does not go away after your menstrual period
    • Persistent, unexplained breast pain
    • Discharge from your nipples, especially blood or pus
    • Signs of a breast infection, including localized redness, pus, or fever