Chest pain can occur even in healthy women, but only on certain days of the menstrual cycle. However, in this situation, doctors recommend to listen more carefully to their feelings, and, if the pain is too strong, to seek help from a mammologist or an endocrinologist. Regular chest pains are not a cause for panic, because discomfort in the mammary glands can be caused by completely harmless causes. Many women have sore breasts only during their periods, and this is due more to the physiological processes that take place in the body. However, any discomfort in the chest should alarm the woman. If you doubt that everything happens in your body as usual, consult a specialist. Moreover, today the problem of breast cancer is quite acute.
Causes of chest pain
Breast pain (mastalgia), which occurs on certain days of the menstrual cycle, is called cyclic. Other types of pain that are not related to menstruation are called non-cyclic in medicine.
According to statistics, only 60% of pain in the mammary glands are cyclic pain. Recognizing cyclic pain is not difficult. Almost always, before the onset of menstruation, both breasts hurt. The upper part of the breast becomes more painful. At this time, the woman may feel a heaviness and distention in the chest, however, a few days after the onset of menstruation, the pain begins to decrease and by the end of the menstrual period pass completely. Such pains are characteristic of women in reproductive age.
Now, all the same, we will understand why the chest hurts before menstruation. Cyclic pain is a consequence of hormonal changes in a woman’s body. That is why the ladies do not feel such pain during menopause, when the hormones are always kept at the same level. In women of reproductive age, 2 hormones continuously work during the menstrual cycle: estrogen and progesterone. Thus, cutting progesterone in the second phase of the cycle increases and contributes to the swelling of the mammary glands. But after menstruation, the amount of hormone decreases, and the pain subsides. However, there is another reason why women’s breasts in front of menstruation are very sore. For cyclic pain often lies mastopathy – one of the most common diseases of the breast. Many women often write off mastopathy as a symptom of premenstrual syndrome, due to which the disease is rarely found in the initial stages.
Why does chest ache after menstruation? This is another pressing issue that worries many women. If you delve into the problem, then the causes of such pain can be:
- lack of sexual relations;
- oncological diseases;
- irregular menstrual cycle;
Perhaps someone does not know, but severe pain in the chest after menstruation may actually indicate pregnancy, despite the fact that only recently there was menstruation. This situation occurs when a woman has an irregular menstrual cycle or hormonal disorders. In this case, the fair sex can learn about their interesting position only after a couple of months, when other symptoms of pregnancy begin to appear. Thus, if the first and last points can be independently analyzed and excluded, the remaining causes of chest pain require immediate treatment to the doctor.
In addition to pregnancy and premenstrual syndrome, cyclical pain in the chest can take contraceptive hormonal pills or drugs aimed at treating infertility. In some situations, hormonal drugs are indicated for women even in old age. In this case, and during menopause, the fair sex may experience cyclical chest pains. By the way, long-term use of antidepressants can also lead to cyclic pain in the mammary glands.
After 50 years, women more often complain of non-cyclical chest pains. As a rule, this pain is localized only in one part of the breast. Much less often, painful sensations cover the entire chest and pass into the armpit area.
Non-cyclic chest pains can also be caused by several reasons. First of all, they are connected with the anatomical structure of the mammary gland, and not with the hormonal background of the woman. Non-cyclical chest pains can be caused by trauma, a cyst, or a recent surgery. Sometimes there is pain in the mammary gland if a woman has a chest wall, nerves, joints, muscles. In this case, the pain does not knit with pathologies in the mammary glands. Another common cause of chest pain is an imbalance of fatty acids in the breast. Much less often mastalgia causes headaches, weakness, fever and other symptoms of intoxication.
In a separate group of diseases I want to make mastitis, which affects women during breastfeeding. In this case, the pain is caused by the stagnation of milk in the mammary gland and the penetration of infection into the gland through cracks in the nipples.
Considering all the causes of chest pain, I want to say about the pathological processes occurring in the mammary glands. The cause of mastalgia can be fibromyoma – a tumor that can appear in any part of the breast. But the most insidious disease of the breast is cancer. The tumor is usually located in the upper part of the mammary gland and has fuzzy contours. If the tumor is large, then the skin on the chest takes on the appearance of an orange peel. The nipple becomes retracted, and discharge from it appears. Self-examination is important in detecting breast cancer. This procedure should be carried out by each woman once every 2-3 months. To do this, immediately after menstruation in the shower with soap hands it is necessary to alternately grope the mammary glands. This is done to make it easier to detect the seal. Once a year all women over the age of 20 are advised to undergo a mammogram. If you are worried about persistent pain in the mammary gland, it is better not to guess what the pain in the chest can be caused, and immediately consult a doctor who will conduct a full diagnosis and prescribe treatment in time.
Why hurts breasts during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a special condition caused by colossal hormonal changes. In the first minutes after fertilization of the egg, the hormonal background of the woman changes dramatically. Depending on how rapidly the hormones in the body of a woman work, the following symptoms of pregnancy appear: weakness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, mood swings, pulling pain in the lower abdomen, pain in the chest. All this refers to the early signs of pregnancy. In the process of embryo development, chest pain may become less or, conversely, intensify. In the process of gestation of the fetus, the breast tissue grows, the milk ducts dilate, the halos around the nipples become dark, colostrum begins to stand out, blood circulation increases, and the breast becomes heavier and increases in volume. All this also contributes to the development of discomfort in the chest.
Naturally, such changes in the breast do not occur immediately, but gradually during the whole pregnancy. However, if after some time after intercourse without contraception, the girl has a chest pain on the background of the delay of another menstruation, this may be a sign of pregnancy. It is unnecessary to experience pain in the chest during this period, because by the 12th week of pregnancy the pain will decrease, and by the end of the pregnancy they will pass completely. In rare cases, severe chest pain persists throughout pregnancy. This happens if a woman is too sensitive chest. In this situation, you need to take care of the chest and create conditions so that the breast delivers the minimum of inconvenience.
From about the fifth month of pregnancy in the body of a woman begins the active production of estrogen. This hormone prepares the mother’s body for the birth of a child, but it can also contribute to the appearance of severe pain in the mammary glands. During this period of pregnancy, chest pain is tolerable, but the discomfort may be exacerbated by pressure on the chest or general hypothermia of the body. Less often, the chest during pregnancy hurts constantly, and discomfort occurs even when the nipples come into contact with clothes. To prevent this, wear only cotton underwear and use special bras for pregnant women.
Sometimes it happens that in the process of pregnancy too much colostrum is released. At this time, there is a burning sensation and tingling in the chest. This pain is completely normal and does not require any treatment. Just watch out for breast hygiene and use special breast pads. After childbirth, when lactation is established, the pain will pass on its own.