While nipple soreness can be a secondary symptom of ovulation, it is not very common. Usually, women experience other primary symptoms such as cervical mucus consistency and cervix position changes as well as basal body temperature increase.
Having sore and tender breasts around ovulation is often caused by hormonal fluctuations that happen when the egg is released. It’s important to know the cause and how to relieve the pain.
What Causes Mastalgia (Breast Pain)?
Breast pain, also called mastalgia, is a common condition that affects two-thirds of women during their reproductive years. This pain is not usually a sign of breast cancer or other breast disease, but it can cause anxiety and interfere with normal activities – This part of the material is taken from the website Sexy Belle.
The most common cause of breast pain is hormone fluctuations related to the menstrual cycle. This type of pain, known as cyclic breast pain, is usually present a few days before the start of each menstrual period and continues until the end of the period. It may be felt in one or both breasts and can be described as a soreness or heaviness. Cyclic breast pain is more common in younger women and can continue throughout pre-menopause and menopause based on fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Non-cyclic breast pain can also be caused by many things. It can occur after an infection or from the stretching of Cooper’s ligaments (bands of connective tissue that support the breast tissue). Women who have large breasts, which is often a genetic trait, are at a higher risk for developing this type of pain because of the extra pressure on the tissue.
To diagnose mastalgia, your doctor will do a physical exam and feel your breasts. They will also likely perform other tests, such as an ultrasound and possibly a mammogram. If the doctor finds no signs of a medical condition, they will probably prescribe a dose of over-the-counter or prescription pain medications to help control the pain.
What Are the Symptoms of Mastalgia?
The pain of mastalgia is usually felt in the breasts but can also be felt in the chest, armpits, and neck. The pain is a combination of tightness, tenderness, and inflammation. It can be very mild or it can feel like a burning sensation that gets progressively more painful. It can be felt in one or both breasts. Women in their 20s and 30s often experience this type of pain because it is related to hormonal changes. It can also happen during pregnancy or menopause. It is a condition that is sometimes called “menstrual cramps.”
Symptoms of mastalgia can be cyclical or noncyclical. Cyclic mastalgia occurs in the breasts at certain times of the year and is related to the hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle. The pain is most likely to occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle, around the time that ovulation takes place. Noncyclical pain is less common and may be a result of arthritic chest muscles, such as the pectoralis major, or a lump or mass in the breast.
The first step in treating mastalgia is to talk with a doctor. She or he will want to know the location, intensity, and frequency of the breast pain. A physical exam may be done to look for a lump or any other abnormalities. Other tests can include a breast ultrasound and a mammogram. Medication, such as hormone supplements and hormone blockers, is used to treat cyclical mastalgia, but these should only be used under a physician’s supervision because of the potential side effects.
How Can I Get Rid of Mastalgia?
If your nipples feel achy and tender in the run-up to ovulation, it’s likely due to hormonal shifts that occur around this time. The pain can range from a dull, cramp-like feeling to a more sudden, sharp sensation. It may also be accompanied by nipple sensitivity, a slight change in your basal body temperature (BBT), vaginal spotting and/or discharge.
Cyclical breast pain usually occurs as your estrogen levels are dropping and your progesterone is rising, says Dune. The pain should resolve once ovulation has occurred and your hormone levels have returned to normal. If it doesn’t, it could indicate early pregnancy.
Nipple and breast pain related to ovulation is considered a secondary symptom of ovulation, meaning that it’s not as common as other signs of ovulation, like cervical fluid changes or a rise in BBT. But it’s a good indicator of when you might be ovulating, if you know how to interpret the symptoms.
Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to reduce or get rid of mastalgia, including taking over-the-counter painkillers, sleeping on a pillow with a firmer support, and using warm or cold compresses. It’s also a good idea to avoid any foods that can cause you discomfort, like spicy or acidic foods and caffeine. If the pain persists, or you are experiencing other prenatal symptoms, it’s important to speak to a doctor as soon as possible.
What Can I Do About Mastalgia?
If you experience pain or tenderness in your breasts, it’s not always a sign of cancer and can be relieved by medication, home remedies and lifestyle changes. The first thing to do is keep a record of your pain. This will help you and your doctor find out what type of mastalgia you have and what is causing it.
Cyclic mastalgia, which occurs in pre-menopausal women and happens as part of their menstrual cycle, is the most common type. It usually feels achy and dull, affects both breasts and is especially noticeable in the upper and outer portion of the breast, closest to the armpit. This kind of pain tends to get worse before menstruation begins and is relieved by the onset of menses.
Noncyclic mastalgia, which is more likely to occur in post-menopausal women, can be very different than cyclic pain. It can come and go, can be in one breast or both, and it may feel like burning or stabbing. This kind of pain is less predictable and is often associated with breast cysts, fibroadenomas, infections or extramammary tissue.
For all types of mastalgia, an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn) can be helpful. If your pain does not improve with these treatments, you should consult a health care provider.