Breast discomfort is a common complaint among women of reproductive age and can have a number of different causes.
Many times it is the result of puberty, menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, but in rare instances could be due to something more serious. Benign breast conditions include both cyclic mastalgia and fibrocystic breast condition.
In cyclic mastalgia pain increases during the menstrual cycle. Women often notice symptoms every month in the days or weeks leading up to their periods and experience relief only after their period begins. The discomfort may be in one or both breasts, and may range in severity from woman to woman and month to month.
Fibrocystic Breast Condition
The cause of FBC has been linked to the imbalance of hormone levels such as progesterone, estrogen and prolactin. This imbalance causes cell growth in the breast tissue to exceed natural cell turnover (apoptosis), and becomes more severe with time. The condition tends to start to diminish at menopause. Typical symptoms can include light to severe swelling, aches, tenderness and heaviness and can be felt anywhere from the breast to the underarm area. Fibrocystic breast condition (FBC) is also characterized by fluid filled cysts that may become more tender throughout the menstrual cycle. Commonly felt during a breast self-exam, these lumps have a bumpy (cobblestone) or rope-like texture.
Chronic Breast Pain
Breast pain can be noncyclic, meaning it is not affected by hormones and could be something more serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact a physician:
- Persistent, unexplained breast pain
- Lumps with the onset of pain or a lump that does not go away after your menstrual period
- Blood or discharge from nipple
- Signs of a breast infection, including redness, rash, pus or fever
Interested in learning more how molecular iodine can help alleviate menstrual-related breast discomfort?