Sore Nipples and Sore Breast – Is there a reason to be concerned?
You may question yourself countless times about why are my nipples sore? Or you could often puzzle with the timing of your sore boobs, but these are usually signs of the various phases of your reproductive cycle. Essentially what it means is that this is your body’s way of communicating to you on what is going on at different times of your body’s development.
At this stage, two common explanations are:
The 2 key hormones that are hard at work during your menstrual cycle are:
- estrogen prior to ovulation and
- progesterone, which gets into action about the time of ovulation.
Progesterone usually causes additional water retention inside the body. There is a reason for this: the uterus is being prepared for a possible pregnancy, and the addition of water and nutrients inside the uterus will make conditions ripe for the anticipated pregnancy. The flip side is that this phenomenon happens all through the body. As a result, water built up in the breast tissue will apply pressure on them and subsequently lead to breast pain and sore nipples.
However these are not the most uncomfortable things. Some women have trouble slipping themselves into those tight fit jeans during the second half of the cycle, yeah; you know what you have been through! If the anticipated pregnancy does not take place, the level of progesterone will fall about a week prior to your next period. The additional water will be passed out in your urine.
When the released egg from the ovary is fertilized (during ovulation) and it settles and grows in the womb, both progesterone and estrogen will carry on being produced in order to sustain the pregnancy. What it means is that any breast tenderness will continue to manifest and is likely to become worse.
Even after your sore breasts and nipples continue to persist after ovulation, pregnancy may not be the natural assumption. A tell tale indicator is that this breast discomfort does not seem to go away and the breasts are not showing signs of subsiding (in fact they tend to increase in size over time) and your period is 7-10 days late. Again, this is no guarantee of pregnancy (even though a missed period would usually indicate pregnancy), there are other known factors such as perimenopausal changes and extreme stress.
Causes of sore nipples and painful breasts
Sore breasts and nipples could be linked to what is known as the climacteric syndrome. Such climacteric syndrome symptoms can be one (or more) of the following:
- hot flushes
- irregular menstruation
- mood changes
- painful breasts
- weight gain and bloating.
It is believed that wildly fluctuating hormone levels inside the body are behind climacteric syndrome. It usually has nothing to do with the absence of estrogen. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and oral contraceptives are widely employed to even out the hormone levels.
Sore Nipples and Breast Cancer
Sore nipples could also be a leading indicator of breast cancer. One such condition is known as Paget’s nipple disease; irritation happens to the nipple including pain, reddening and sometimes itchiness. It is a progressive disease and it will eventually wear down the nipple completely. Paget’s disease of the nipple is proof that the breast tissue has been affected by cancerous cells. If irritation continues, you are advised to seek a consultation with your doctor.
Some of the most dreadful experiences a women can face is to hear comments like “mammogram indicates suspicion of breast cancer” or “biopsy run shows it is breast cancer positive”. There is definitely inherent fear as this pronouncement usually means that death, surgery, loss of body image, and loss of sexuality, are to follow. One can only get on top of this fear by equipping oneself with information and knowledge so that affected women can deal with the consequences responsibly and effectively.