Causes of breast pain include:
Click on these links for more information about these causes.
Breast pain is commonly caused bychanges in hormone levels that occur during the menstrual cycle . This is known as cyclical breast pain.
Hormone changes may be the cause of your pain if:
Wearing a supportive bra during the day, at night and while exercising can help reduce the pain, as can over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen ,and gels that you rub into your skin such as ibuprofen or diclofenac.
See your GP if the pain is difficult to control.They may refer you to a specialist who can prescribemedication to control your hormone levels, such as danazol, tamoxifen or goserelin.
Sore, tenderbreastsare sometimes an early sign of pregnancy.
This may be the cause of your pain if you also have other signs of pregnancy , such as:
You can do a home pregnancy test if you think there's a chance youmight be pregnant.
There are manytypes of breast lump , some of which may be painful
Most breast lumps are harmless, but they should be checked by a GP just in casethey're a sign of something serious, such ascancer.
Treatment depends onthe type of lump you have. Some lumps may not need any treatment. It can be caused bya bacterial infection or breastfeeding .
In addition to breast pain, mastitis cancause:
See your GP if you think you might have mastitis, as it could lead to an abscess if not treated. Your GP may prescribe antibiotics to treatany infection. Read moreabout how mastitis is treated .
A breast abscess is a collection of pus in the breast. It's usually caused by a bacterial infection such as mastitis .
Breast abscesses are painful, swollen lumps that may also:
See your GP if you think you have a breast abscess. You may need antibiotics to treat the infection and a minor procedure to drain the pus with a needle. Sometimes pain can spread along the nerves in your chest so that it feels like it's in your breast.
For example, breast pain can be caused by:
An injurymay be the cause of your pain if it's only felt inonespot and it gets worse when you move around.
Wearing a supportive bra and taking painkillers can help relieve the pain while the injury heals. Occasionally, injections of steroid medication and local anaesthetic may be needed if the pain persists.
If you're breastfeeding, your pain may be the result of:
Speak to your midwife or health visitor if you think your pain could be related to breastfeeding. They can check your feeding technique andrecommend ways to reduce the pain.
They will examine your breasts andmay refer you for further tests. Most women who have these tests don't have cancer.