Cyclical Breast Pain

Q: I am 36 yrs old trying for second baby. Before 7-10 days of cycle, I have a lot of pain in my breasts. I want to know if I have some problem.
-By Inderjit


It doesn’t sound like a problem. Cyclical breast pain is very common among women of reproductive age group.

Cause of Breast Pain With Periods

During the menstrual cycle there is a constant change in the levels of reproductive hormones. Chiefly, two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone regulate the cycle.

They are responsible for the release of ovum from the ovary, the thickening of endometrium and preparation of the uterus for egg implantation.

They also affect the breast tissue. Breast have many small milk glands bunched together like a grape bunch. Each gland drains via a separate duct into a bigger common duct at the end. There is ample padding of fatty tissue between the glands.

The hormones promote the breast to get prepared for the purpose of lactation, in an anticipation that the egg will get fertilized.

So the breast tissue gets stimulated and swells up due to activated milk gland. This occurs in all women.

It is just that some women are more sensitive to these hormonal fluctuations. They may feel heavy, bloated or even lumpy breast. Also, the breast may pain due to pressure of the activated glands.

What Can You Do to Reduce Pain?

  • Wear loose cotton bra during those days.
  • Avoid wearing brasseries at night times.
  • Take a low fat diet throughout the month. It is postulated that diet high in fat make the breast even more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations. Try taking more of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • If you are taking any hormonal pills, stop them for some time.
  • Avoid too much of stimulating drinks (coffee, tea) for some time and see the difference.

If the pain is still troublesome, you may need some medical help. This would be taking some different hormonal pills to counter-act the action of your body hormones. Your gynecologist can prescribe them after examining you.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

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