With the arrival of your period, there are a number of signs that your body is getting ready for its bleeding time. With a cocktail of hormones to back it up, this time of the month sometimes includes less pleasant symptoms, such as tension and pain in the breasts.
Do you experience swelling, pain or tenderness in your breasts during your period? Mme L’Ovary investigated on how to relieve sore breasts and better manage these symptoms during your period!
Breast pain and menstruation: what’s going on?
Breast pain, or mastodynia, can manifest as hypersensitivity to touch, a feeling of heaviness, swelling or spikes of pain in the breast area. They may be typical of premenstrual symptoms and can be felt equally in both breasts. These pains can occur up to two weeks before the beginning of the period and gradually intensify.
Having breast pain before or during your period is often a recurring pain caused mainly by hormonal changes in the body.
Different links between breast pain and menstruation
To find out how to relieve painful breasts at the time of your period, let’s start by looking at their potential sources.
Although the exact causes of premenstrual breast pain are not yet known, they may be related to the following, for example:
- Hormonal imbalance: characterized by high progesterone levels that cause breast tissue to swell;
- Nutrition: eating processed foods, too much salt, too much sugar, containing improper fats, or stimulants can affect the level of inflammation or water retention in the body, which can cause pain;
- Water retention: the body tends to swell with the onset of menstruation and hold more water, which can cause the breasts to swell as well;
- Inflammation: the level of inflammation plays a role in premenstrual pain and during the bleeding period, and can manifest itself in breast pain;
- Stress: stress and menstruation do not mix. A high level of stress or a rhythm that is too active for the body can contribute to PMS in general, and therefore to breast pain.
Our 4 tips to relieve sore breasts
1. Wear clothes and underwear that fit you, or don’t!
Because breasts can swell before or during menstruation, wearing a larger or more comfortable bra helps you relieve sore breasts before your period. This provides better support for the chest and prevents additional pressure or strain on the breasts.
If you are wearing bras, we suggest wearing sports sizes or going up a size to ease the pain.
For other women, not wearing a bra and choosing soft, loose-fitting sweaters can also be a solution. It’s your body, it’s up to you to see what suits you best!
Psst! To complete your underwear set for your period and find ultimate comfort, check out our Wellness Kit.
2. Adapting your diet
As mentioned earlier, breast pain before or during your period can be part of PMS. To help relieve these premenstrual symptoms, you can make small changes to your diet when they happen.
- Decrease coffee or tea consumption: these stimulants can have an impact on breast inflammation before or during your period and can also increase menstrual cramps.
- Eat less salt and less fat: we are talking about harmful fats, which can increase water retention in the body.
- Focus on fiber and essential fatty acids: fruits, green vegetables, legumes and oilseeds should be on the menu.
- Make sure you stay well hydrated: it’s good at all times, but it also helps with water retention!
A little tip: raw flaxseed helps reduce water retention before your period arrives.
3. Take the time to relax
We know that stress can have a significant impact on your period. And along with all the other uncomfortable effects, stress can play a role in breast pain before or during your period.
To relieve sore breasts before your period, you can start by watching your stress level. Most of the time, we get so used to it that we don’t even realize it’s there!
To help with this, you can adopt breathing, relaxation or meditation methods that will help you refocus and find peace. The key is to come back to the present moment and into your body. This will help you reduce inflammation and stress!
If stress is particularly prominent in your life, we also invite you to examine its source. This is also the gift of our periods! They allow us to take the time to evaluate what’s no longer working for us, and give us the choice to leave it behind. 🌊
4. Try natural treatments
A variety of herbs and natural remedies can be effective in relieving sore breasts, including:
- Primrose or borage oil: these omega-rich fatty acids help reduce inflammation and work on the hormonal system. A little bonus: they help strengthen and moisturize hair, nails and skin!
- Chasteberry: also known as Vitex agnus-castus, this plant has proven to be effective in reducing premenstrual symptoms and their effects on the breasts.
- Diuretic tea: in case of swelling, a cup of diuretic tea can help to evacuate some of the retained water.
- Gentle chest massages: several massage techniques can improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. If you try this method, go gently, with what feels good!
Other anti-inflammatory treatments can help relieve sore breasts before your period. Don’t hesitate to consult a health professional who can help you find appropriate remedies for you!
Listen to your body
When it comes to menstrual pain, there is no single solution. The key is to listen to you, to observe your body and its changes and to guide it gently and kindly!
To understand what helps you with your sore breasts, try the methods that work for you and keep regular notes on how your symptoms change. This will help you know what you need, when and how.
Over time, you’ll learn to know yourself better, love yourself better, and experience a harmonious and blooming menstrual cycle! ❤️