Breast pain is a common symptom women experience before their periods. Check out the ways to reduce breast pain before periods.

Many women experience breast pain before periods, which is known as cyclic mastalgia. The symptoms of breast pain vary from woman to woman, but some common ones include shooting pain in the breasts, tenderness, heaviness, swelling, and nipple sensitivity. Some even feel pain in the underarms. Even though it lasts for a few days, it can cause a lot of discomfort. That’s why you should know the ways to reduce breast pain before periods.

Breast pain is one of the common symptoms that women experience before periods. A 2015 study conducted on 400 women revealed that 60 percent of them experienced cyclical mastalgia. The study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine further showed that out of these, 22.5 percent and 37.5 percent experienced mild and moderate-to-severe pain, respectively.

Woman holding her breast
Breast pain before periods happens due to changes in hormones. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Why do women feel breast pain before periods?

Breast pain before periods occurs due to alteration in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, says obstetrician, gynaecologist and infertility specialist Dr. Sangeeta Gomes. The imbalance triggers fluid retention and inflammation in breast tissue, leading to breast tenderness.

What are the ways to reduce breast pain before periods?

There are always pain relievers to help with breast pain which you must only take after consulting with a doctor. But there are other easy ways to reduce breast pain at home. Here’s what you can do:

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1. Supportive bras

Instead of wearing bras with underwires, opt for comfortable and supportive bras to decrease breast pain. This will be especially helpful for women with larger breasts, says the expert.

2. Dietary changes

Salt, caffeine, and alcohol result in fluid retention that can cause inflammation in the breasts. So, it is best to avoid them around your menstruation days.

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3. Cold compress

Cold compress or using ice packs can be quite effective in managing injuries. Applying an ice pack to your breasts for short periods can also reduce inflammation and pain.

4. Warm baths

It’s winter time, so soaking in a warm bath can help to relax your muscles and ease discomfort. But don’t make the water too hot, as it can make your skin dry.

5. Gentle massage

You don’t have to go to a spa for a relaxing massage. Self-massage can be of great help. A gentle stroke can improve blood flow and reduce breast tension, says Dr Gomes.

6. Exercise

When you have periods, working out is probably the last thing on your mind. But you should do low-impact exercises like walking to reduce pain and improve your mood.

7. Stress management

Stress can cause heightened inflammation and then increase breast pain. So, practise relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing to help in reducing the pain.

Woman holding her breast
Turmeric may reduce breast pain before periods. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

8. Evening primrose

Evening primrose oil may reduce breast pain symptoms. It can be used by adding a few drops of it to your tea. You can add it to hot water as well and drink it up.

9. Turmeric

Turmeric is a common kitchen ingredient known for its antioxidant activity which can reduce inflammation. Mix it with a little turmeric powder in warm milk and drink it to reduce breast pain, suggests the expert.

10. Flaxseed

Ground flaxseed may help to reduce breast pain before periods. You can have a spoonful of it while eating cereal during breakfast. It can also be added to a sandwich.

If the breast pain doesn’t go away, see a doctor for a preventive consultation. They can determine the cause and provide appropriate guidance or treatment if needed.

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