Why your nipples hurt during menstruation

Young Women
By Esther Muchene | Tue,Dec 28 2021 07:30:00 EAT

 Not all women will experience this discomfort (Photo: Courtesy)

Breast soreness is a change that many women experience. This can happen when you’re breastfeeding and it could also be a symptom of pregnancy or an infection.

The most common time when breast and nipple tenderness happen is before or during menstruation. Not everyone experiences this discomfort but it’s something that often happens.

If you’ve noticed that your breasts ache around your period dates, don’t panic because it’s completely harmless. It’s certainly uncomfortable and can actually prevent you from enjoying activities like exercising but it’s just a part of the natural changes that our bodies go through as women.

Also, this symptom isn’t always the same for everyone.

For some, the pain is more a few days before their period comes and fades away when it starts while for others, the soreness can extend until their period is over.

There are also situations where some women experience more pain than others but it’s still harmless most of the time. And, this pain can be felt in one or both breasts depending on how your body reacts.

That said, let us look at more specific reasons why your breasts and nipples feel different during your period:

  • Hormonal fluctuations

That time of the month is rarely a smooth process. Some women have to deal with painful cramps, you might feel bloated and the overwhelming discomfort can keep you in bed all day.

Most of the menstrual symptoms come as a result of hormonal changes, including breast and nipple tenderness.

Progesterone and estrogen levels increase and decrease during your period and that is why you keep experiencing the soreness. These hormonal fluctuations cause your milk glands and breast ducts to swell, giving a tingling and sometimes painful sensation.

These hormonal shifts have to happen so if you’re lucky enough to have never dealt with painful breasts while you’re on your period, you, my friend, are extremely lucky.

 Sometimes nipple pain can be caused by underlying health conditions (Photo: Courtesy)
  • Fibrocystic changes

In a few cases, there are women who have a fibrocystic condition which is characterized by the appearance of lumps during your period. These lumps are often painful and they shrink away towards the end of menstruation.

This condition can also cause an overgrowth of cells in the milk duct lining and enlarge the breast lobules, both which can cause your nipples and breasts to feel tender during menstruation.

Fibrocystic breast changes aren’t a cancerous condition and it’s mostly harmless. However, it’s still important to visit your health care provider to confirm that everything is okay.

How to ease the pain

While we’ve seen that the aches are just a normal part of the changes during menstruation, they can be an annoying source of discomfort. Luckily, there are measures you can take to help ease the pain.

You can try prepare a warm or cool compress then gently place it on your breast or nipple area once a day or as many times as you need to.

Another way is to wear a comfortable bra to prevent the pain from worsening as you move around.

Lastly, if you’re dealing with severe pain, you can opt for painkillers.

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