Most women experience breast tenderness at some point in their lives. Breasts may feel achy, have shooting pains, or simply feel full and heavy. Sore breasts typically occur due to hormonal fluctuations.
What causes breast tenderness?
It is normal for a woman to experience breast tenderness after ovulation, and most of the time breast tenderness after ovulation is due to hormonal changes. During this time, an increase in the hormone progesterone, which is produced by the corpus luteum (the area in the ovary where the egg originated) can cause achy or sore breasts.
Breast soreness due to pregnancy rarely, if ever, occurs before missing a period. It is often one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. If you missed your period and you have breast tenderness, it makes sense to do a pregnancy test.
Other Reasons For Breast Tenderness:
- Menstruation: your period also causes hormonal surges
- Puberty, in both girls and boys
- Approach of menopause (once your menstrual periods have stopped completely, breast tenderness often goes away unless you are taking hormone replacement therapy)
No matter the cause, caffeine is thought to increase this sometimes painful sensation, so being mindful of your caffeine intake may help alleviate the discomfort.
When should you call your doctor?
- If you've given birth within the last week and your breasts are swollen or hard
- If you've noticed a new lump associated with the pain that does not go away after your menstrual period
- Have persistent, unexplained breast pain
- Discharge from your nipples, especially blood or pus
- Any signs of a breast infection, including localized redness, pus, or fever