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Painful breasts, the most common hormonal complaint


Pijnlijke borsten de meest voorkomende hormonale klacht


Sore breasts is one of the most common hormonal complaints in women and can range from swollen, sensitive breasts, a tight feeling to a stabbing pain. Painful breasts are not only uncomfortable, but can also trigger anxious feelings. The question many women ask: is it a harmless cycle-related complaint or is there something serious behind it?


Painful breasts usually occur during the luteal phase, the phase between ovulation and menstruation [1]. Often the underlying cause is a hormonal imbalance, the inability to make your own hormones and that they are also doing their job properly actively, following each other adequately throughout your menstrual cycle. Sensitive breasts can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies. After all, it is nutrients that allow you to make your own hormones oestrogen and progesterone.


Again those hormones?


The menstrual cycle is regulated by several hormones. The main cycle hormones are oestrogen and progesterone. After ovulation, progesterone levels rise, which can lead to water retention in breast tissue [2] which can lead to sore breasts. At the same time, breast tissue becomes more perfused, leading to an increase in breast size and weight, resulting in a feeling of tension. This tension can cause sensitivity to touch and pain, especially during physical activity such as sports. In addition, nipple pain, hardening of breast tissue and nodular changes (lumps, cysts) may occur. It is wise to feel, probe your breast tissue by hand during more moments of your cycle.


Medically, cycle-related breast pain is called mastodynia [3]. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve this pain, such as cold compresses, which have a cooling and relaxing effect. Taking a vitex (monk's pepper) supplement can also help. Vitex has been shown to have a beneficial effect on cycle-related chest pain. [4].


Should I be worried?


Sore breasts, nipple discharge or changes in breast tissue. It can be frightening. You ask yourself: is it a harmless cycle-related complaint or is it a serious condition? It is important to remember that such symptoms often occur in connection with the female cycle, especially in the period between ovulation and menstruation. One or two weeks before menstruation. This means that in most cases they are unpleasant but usually harmless. However, women with persistent or severe symptoms should always consult a doctor to rule out serious medical problems.



How can Cyclus Tracker Daysy help me?


The BBT (basal body temperature) that you measure right when you wake up in the morning with your Daysy is a value indicated by your hormones. Therefore, by tracking your BBT, you can analyse how your hormonal balance is going, whether you are ovulating! After ovulation, you produce the hormone progesterone. That's why you see slightly higher BBT values after ovulation compared to before ovulation.


What explains my sensitive breasts?


There are 2 ways how you can tell that your progesterone production is not optimal. In both cases, ladies can experience sensitive breasts.


BBT is not rising, you have not or not yet ovulated. Then the colours indicated by Daysy remain red or yellow (fertile days). See the example below.


Cyclus Tracker Daysy geen ovulatie en onvoldoende progesteron productie

BBT rises after ovulation but falls again after a few days (see example below) and your period starts witch results in a CLI: short length of your luteal phase, <10 days.


Cyclus Tracker Daysy korte luteale fase progesteron tekort

What can I do to relieve painful breasts?


  • As hormonal imbalance is often the underlying cause of sore breasts, it is important to work on improving hormonal balance. Read our comprehensive blog with many tips.

  • Sports/exercise: can improve blood flow to the breast region and help reduce swelling. Moreover, exercise releases endorphins that can relieve pain. An active lifestyle can also help stabilise hormone levels, which can have a positive effect on the menstrual cycle and therefore painful breasts

  • Cooling compresses: can reduce swelling and inflammation. The cold constricts blood vessels, reducing discomfort. This is especially effective if the pain is accompanied by inflammation.

  • Omitting a bra or wearing a loose bra made of soft fabric (without underwire): this can reduce pressure on breast tissue and relieve pain.

  • Drinking tea with hibiscus or sage: these herbal teas contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties. Hibiscus tea can promote blood circulation and sage tea can help balance hormone fluctuations. So both can help relieve the symptoms of chest pain.

  • Taking a supplement with vitex (monk's pepper): vitex helps balance hormonal fluctuations in the menstrual cycle and therefore can reduce premenstrual symptoms, including breast pain.


Would you like to spar with an expert with your measurements included? What is the most suitable solution for you? At Daysy, you will find hormone and cycle experts who professionally advise women with these symptoms. You can take advantage of a 20-minute 1-to-1 Zoom to speak to Dayenne or Patricia. We are here for you so you can learn more about your own body.



TIP! Also read through the related blog articles below on how to recognise ovulation and progesterone production.

 

Sources  1) pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12243507/ 2) link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41974-018-0051-y 3) frauenaerzte-im-netz.de 4) pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23022391/


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