Soreness of the breasts of the women is quite common. The breasts become heavy and there is a feeling of pain when touched. This phenomenon is known as breast tenderness. The level of intensity of tenderness varies from a person to person and from time to time. This tenderness is not women specific and can occur in men also but the chances are rare.
The tenderness can be divided into it being cyclic and non cyclic. The cyclic tenderness relate to hormonal changes and non cyclic can be due to other factors. If tenderness is cyclic it should be not a reason of concern, but if it persists for long a visit to a doctor is a must. About 70 percent of the women suffer from breast tenderness at any point of time during life cycle.
The symptoms of tenderness are swelling associated with pain on touching, movement and even due to pressure of clothes. The reasons can be as follows:
- At the time of puberty there is sudden increase in breast size. This is the time of lots of hormonal changes in both boys and girls. The increased size of breast tissues is often associated with pain.
- Menstrual cycle is often a cause of change in the breasts. The tenderness does change between months but is stronger before menstruation and decreases afterwards. Stress level also causes hormonal change in women and may result in breast tenderness.
- During the first trimester of pregnancy there are marked hormonal changes in women. Breast swelling does occur during this period. This swelling is associated with pain and uneasy sensation. The breast tissues make space for milk ducts resulting in enlargement and tenderness.
- Breast feeding mothers also suffer from tenderness. Many women suffer from acute pain while feeding the child. This can be due to large number of ducts full of milk. Pain will lessen as the ducts become empty.
- Menopause is another time of major hormonal changes in any women. The balance of oestrogen hormones at the time of menopause is adversely affected. This is a cause of breast tenderness in many women.
- Costochondritis is another cause of breast tenderness and pain. This is associated with the aging process and caused by poor posture. Pain starts from the point where ribs and breast bone meet.
- Excess consumption of caffeine in any form can be a cause of breast tenderness. Caffeine causes blood vessels to dilate. Women having problem of tenderness of breasts gets affected the most due to intake of excess caffeine.
- Excessive use of pain killers, anti depressants and birth control pills can be a cause of breast tenderness.
- Existence of breast infection, fibroids or cancer tissues in breast can be a cause of persisting tenderness. These cases need immediate medical attention.