You know how PMS goes – you notice everyone get like sooo annoying, your back hurts, your stomach is cramping and your breasts = major OUCH! But why is it that you get sore breasts and what can you do about it? At U by Kotex we know that girls have lots going on, especially around puberty and when you begin menstruation. Your breasts will develop at different times for different body types; you may have noticed some of the girls at school starting to wear bras, if so, chances are your breasts are developing too. So what’s this breast pain all about?
Painful Breasts Could be PMS
Right before your period, your body releases 2 powerful hormones, Progesterone and Oestrogen and these two chemicals can have some fierce side effects on your breasts. These hormones cause your body to retain (hang on to) water and this happens especially around your chest area. The extra water can have the effect of slightly stretching your breasts and causing discomfort. The pain and sensitivity might be worse during the 7 days right before your period. If other parts of your body also start to swell (like your fingers, ankles etc) then you can be fairly confident that this tenderness is because of your menstrual cycle. All that excess water in your breasts can also cause a few lumps to appear, they should go away on their own in a few days, but if they don’t you should schedule an appointment with the doc.
Tender Breasts Could be Growing Pains
One of the times that your breasts might feel most painful is when they are starting to develop. Your body is chock-a-block full of hormones that are released during puberty and one of these hormones (Progestin) has a tendency to make your breasts feel not so cool. Right by where your nipple is, you might also feel a small lump, this is known as the ‘breast bud’ and is just your breast getting itself ready to grow. Your skin may feel itchy and irritated around the chest area, which is the skin adjusting to the changes in your body. Some gals find a moisturiser that has Vitamin E or Aloe Vera helps sooth the irritation.
You might feel uncomfortable during this part of your development, so talk to women who you trust about what’s going down in your bod. Get your mum or your bestie to come with you to get the right size bra fitted (this will make your breasts feel more comfortable and better supported) and if you get a bit blue about it all remember the tenderness in your breasts will go away just as quickly as it came.
What else could be making your breasts sore
Getting pregnant can also make your breasts hurt as your body gets prepared to feed the baby growing inside you. The same two hormones we spoke about above are released when you get pregnant so your body goes through some big time changes, like your breasts filling with milk (they can swell up to 2 cup sizes during pregnancy, wow!). So if you find your breasts are sore for an extended amount of time, and you have noticed other weird things going on with your body like morning queasiness, feeling more tired than usual and missing periods, you should get yourself a pregnancy test just to be on the safe side.
The Pill has also been known to cause sore breasts either when you start taking the Pill or when you stop using it. Normally, it’s just part of your body’s adjustment process to the changes the Pill makes to your hormones.
There are also different sicknesses (Fibrocystic breast tissue, Mastitis, Fibroadenoma plus a range of others) that can cause your breasts to become really sore, although these more commonly affect more mature age women. So when is breast pain something serious? Well if the pain you feel becomes suddenly worse, if you have ‘stuff’ coming out of either nipple, if you notice a lump that hasn’t gone away for a while then make an appointment to see your GP.
What can you do for sore breasts
The first step to making yourself comfortable is to get a proper fitting bra. There are a wide variety of bra types, materials and sizes, so pop to a department store to try on some of the different kinds. Go for comfort over the look of the bra – you might find (we did) that a great elastic bra will make you feel better than those types with more lace than the kitchen curtains.
If it’s your period making your boobs sore then you could use a natural Progesterone cream that will help reduce the water retention. A good multi-vitamin (with evening primrose oil and omega-3 added, if possible) can help make your breasts feel more normal during that time of the month. Too much caffeine or dairy can also make them worse not better, so try and avoid coffee, milk and cheese (yeah we know, avoiding chocky during PMS is like asking mum to see the plus side of a big night out, it’s not going to happen!).
Sore breasts are something that most gals go through, and normally it’s just part of the whole growing up process. If you find you’re getting pain or tenderness then it’s likely your body is sending you a message to slow down and chill out – get a chick flick, grab your best mate and spend the afternoon on the couch. Now you know a bit about the stimulating puberty process your body is going through, you know you deserve the break!