People who menstruate really are true champs. We deal with everything from leaking to severe back pain, all while participating in everyday life like it’s nothing. How do we do it every month?

With menstruating, there are often the normal conversations about back pain and= stomach pain. One thing that not everyone talks about however is breast pain in the lead-up and during that time of the month. It’s a pretty common menstrual symptom, yet it’s one we often skim over, rarely discussing it with others and also rarely doing much to relieve it too.

So if your boobs ever feel like you’ve smacked them off a brick wall, just before your period, we’d like to share some advice with you:

breast pain

What does it mean to have breast pain?

Breast pain is usually related to the menstrual cycle, and it most commonly happens in the lead-up to your period. It’s a form of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and it will often begin 1-2 weeks prior to beginning your period, between ovulation and beginning your monthly bleed, and it will end during or immediately after your period.

It happens due to those pesky hormones fluctuating a lot during this time.  The hormone estrogen is responsible for making your breast ducts enlarged, while progesterone can make your milk glands swell. Both of these combined together can cause a heavy, painful feeling in your breasts, which is tender to the touch.

catherine zeta jones hormones GIF by The Academy Awards

Is it normal to have pain in your breasts? 

While unfortunate it is pretty common to experience this. The soreness can range in severity, however, and while you may only feel your boobs slightly tender, your friend could suffer a lot more or not at all. Generally, however, soreness in your breasts during PMS should feel like more of an annoyance than anything else. If you do feel as though your pain is more severe than most other people, we highly recommend seeking advice from your GP. Please don’t ever be embarrassed to do so, it’s what they are there for!

Breast Cancer Psa GIF by Know Your Girls

What can I do to relieve breast pain? 

Despite the discomfort, there are ways that you can ease your symptoms. The HSE advises that taking the medicines paracetamol or ibuprofen will work best to help the pain. If you would rather avoid the swallowing medication route (don’t worry it makes us nervous too!), you can treat your symptoms in other ways. Wearing a soft but fitting bra and rubbing a painkilling gel onto the tender areas may help ease the pain. 


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