Breast Tenderness Positive Pregnancy Test

Q: Is it normal to have breast tenderness 10 days after ovulation or could I be pregnant?

A: It is normal to have breast tenderness after ovulation. Most women feel some breast changes shortly after ovulation, with or without being pregnant. These breast changes are usually due to progesterone, a hormone normally produced by the ovary after ovulation. Progestone is created by the corpus luteum which is tissue inside the ovary that develops after ovulation. When you are not pregnant, progesterone decreases about 12-16 days after ovulation and typical symptoms associated with progesterone disappear.

Breast tenderness is among the typical symptoms of progesterone after ovulation, but it is also part of typical pregnancy symptoms. However, breast tenderness usually appears only after you miss your period and there is a positive pregnancy test. At that time it is related to the rise of the pregnancy hormone hCG which typically does not rise to significant levels until 3-4 weeks after ovulation, or 1-2 weeks after you miss your period.

If you experience breast tenderness within 1-2 weeks after ovulation and before you miss your period, it's unlikely to be a typical pregnancy symptom. That does not mean you are not pregnant, but your breast tenderness this early is unlikely to be related to your pregnancy. When you miss your period, do a pregnancy test to see if the breast tenderness is a result of being pregnant.