Menstrual periods for women are really tough times to deal with. Women experience many undesirable symptoms around their period and one of them is breast pain. This article discusses what causes breast pains before the period and how to treat it.
There are several symptoms women experience before and during their periods, which may at times be irritating and frustrating. Breast pain can be cyclical, which worsens before the period or non-cyclical, originating from the breast or the chest wall, and can occur at some time in about 70% women, during the course of their lifetime.1 It is important to know what causes breast pains before period and how to deal with it.
What Causes Breast Pains Before Period?
Breast pain before periods may be mild to severe in menstruating women. This may begin about 2 weeks prior to the menstrual period. Now, what causes breast pains before periods? Well! The primary cause of this is the hormones. In the first half of a woman’s menstrual cycle, the levels of estrogen increase in the body, which causes the breast ducts to enlarge. As the ovary releases an egg, the body produces an increased level of progesterone hormone to thicken the uterine lining. This is the body’s way of preparing for an egg to implant in the uterus as a part of pregnancy. Progesterone hormone also causes milk glands in the breasts to swell. So, together, both hormones, estrogen, and progesterone result in breast pains and also the common feeling of breast soreness.
How To Treat Breast Pains Before Period?
Here we will take a look at some of the ways to treat breast pains before period.
Medicinal Treatments For Breast Pains Before Period:
In order to treat breast pain before periods, you can take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like acetaminophen, naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, etc. Such medications can also relieve period cramps. Women with severe breast pains before period must consult their doctors and know about the best course of treatment.
Apart from these medications, hormonal birth control like oral contraceptive pills can calm your breast pain and other associated symptoms before your period. These are best taken with medical advice.
Lifestyle Remedies To Treat Breast Pains Before Period:
If you are wondering how to treat breast pains before period, here are the effective lifestyle remedies for the same,
You can manage the breast pains, swelling and tenderness before period by some lifestyle changes. You can wear a supportive sports bra when you find the pain is going worst. You may also wear a comfortable bra during the night while sleeping.
Diet plays a crucial role in treating breast pain before periods. Caffeine, alcohol, foods rich in fats and salt can increase discomfort and are best eliminated to treat breast pain before period. Women with low-fat diets have a lower incidence of breast pain, so reduce your calories from fat-rich diets. Reduce intake of sodium, which increases water retention that causes breasts to swell and cause breast pain. Cut back the intake of hydrogenated oils from your diet and reduce consumption of methyl xanthine or a component found in coffee, tea, wine, beer, cola, mushrooms, peanut butter, etc.
Add plenty of fiber-rich fruits like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc. Eat soybeans and other soy foods. Phytoestrogens are present in soy, which is the hormone-like compound that can influence hormonal fluctuations associated with menstruation. This can help in reducing breast pain before periods. Add foods rich in nutrients like magnesium, vitamins, and minerals to your diet. take plenty of peanuts, carrots, spinach, bananas, oat bran, brown rice, avocado, etc. These are effective natural remedies to treat breast pain before period.
Certain vitamins and minerals are beneficial in relieving breast pain before periods. Studies have shown that vitamin E and vitamin B6 can reduce breast pain before period.2 These can be taken in addition to other vitamins and minerals, with medical advice. Your doctor would recommend you the necessary vitamin supplements for the same.
Exercising regularly is also one of the effective ways to treat breast pain before period and other symptoms that occur before menstrual periods in women.
Other Natural Home Remedies For Breast Pains Before Period:
Here are some of the natural home remedies that you can use to treat breast pains before periods.
While taking your shower, soap your breasts and gently massage them from the center of your chest out to your armpits. This would improve the circulation of blood and the drainage of lymph (the clear fluid carrying infection-fighting agents through your body)
Cold pack treatment would also help in reducing breast pain before period. Just wrap a towel around a bag of ice cubes or frozen fruits and vegetables and apply it to each breast for about 10 minutes. This will provide you enough relief.
Dandelion is a natural diuretic. Some women find relief in taking this, which helps reduce bloating and other symptoms of breast pain. It is advisable to consult your doctor for such herbal remedies.
Evening primrose oil is a traditional herbal remedy for premenstrual symptoms. It contains an essential fatty acid called GLA that helps balance a woman’s hormones. This can ease breast pain and tenderness during or before periods.
We now know about the causes of breast pain before period and how to treat it. If you are one of those women who suffer from breast pain before period, some of the best ways to treat breast pain can be of help. However, it is advisable to seek medical opinion. If breast pain before periods persists for long or home remedies do not work, it is necessary to take a medical opinion.