While nearly of women report breast pain at some point during their lives, only around do go for medical treatment.
The severity and location of breast pain can vary. Pain can occur in both breasts, one breast, or in the underarm. Severity can range from mild to severe and is typically described as tenderness, sharp burning, or tightening of the breast tissue.
Hormonal changes due to events such as menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and can also have an effect on the type of breast pain experienced.
Common causes of breast pain.
1. Breast cysts
At times, women may develop milk duct or gland changes resulting in breast cyst forming.
Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can be soft or firm and may cause pain. These cysts typically enlarge during the menstrual cycle and go away once menopause is reached.
Certain medications can contribute to the development of breast pain. Medications that are linked to an increase in breast pain include: infertilitytreatments, Oral hormonal contraceptives, Postmenopausal and preparations, Selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI),, Digitalis preparations, Methyldopa (Aldomet),Spironolactone (Aldactone),Some diuretics, Anadrol, Chlorpromazine
3. Breast surgery
Undergoing breast surgery and the formation of scar tissue can lead to breast pain.
Costochondritis is a type of that occurs where the ribs and breastbone connect. While this condition is not related to the breast, the burning pain caused by it can be confused with actual breast pain. This form of arthritis is seen in older adults and people with poor posture.
5. Fibrocystic breast changes
Women who are premenopausal and those who are undergoing treatment with postmenopausal hormone treatment may develop lumpy, tender, and swollen breasts caused by the buildup of fluid. This harmless condition is referred to as fibrocystic breast changes.
Mastitis is a painful infection of the breast. It is most commonly experienced by lactating women due to a clogged milk duct. However, it is not an infection that only occurs in breastfeeding women.
Symptoms associated with mastitis often include , aches, and , along with breast changes such as warmth, redness, swelling, and pain.
7. A poorly fitted bra
Breast pain can be caused by an improperly fitted bra. At times, bras are worn too tight or loose, leaving the breasts improperly supported. Lack of proper support can lead to breast pain.
8. Breast cancer
Most do not cause pain. However, inflammatory breast cancer and some tumors can lead to breast discomfort.
People should contact their doctor if they experience:
§ A lump or other area of concern in the breast
§ Pain or a lump that is not resolved following a period
§ Any nipple discharge - bloody, clear, or otherwise
§ Breast pain without a known cause or that does not go away
§ Symptoms consistent with a breast infection such as redness, , or fever.