Question: what causes sore breast not pregnant?
For women that are between 10 and 14 years, a new phase of physical and emotional development occur and this involves onset of menstruation, armpit and pubic hair, and changes in your breast size. These changes are made possible by an interplay of hormones in your body.
While these changes are common in a lot of young girls, as you grow older, you will notice other issues; menstrual cramps and breast pain while you are not pregnant.
First of all, there is a misconception among women that pain in the breast is most likely due to cancer. The truth is, if you are experiencing sore boobs, it is very unlikely that you have cancer.
In most cases, it has to do with your hormones, and it is very likely that you may experience “breast Pain” at certain times in the month. Some women will experience cramps and breast pain two weeks after the end of the menstrual period while others will notice a sharp pain in the outer breast few days to your next period.
While this is true for most women, it is essential you also palpate your breast for any swelling or lump ( i mean, gently examine for any lump).
If you noticed a lump, it could be the reason you have those pains.
On the other hand, breast pain while not pregnant may be due to severe health concerns. In fact, it could be due to mastitis, breast abscess, direct trauma to your breast or underlying pectoral muscles, sternum injury, and rarely, it could be due to breast cancer
This article explains common causes of sore breast not pregnant, and available treatment options to help.
What causes Sore breast not pregnant?
Like already mentioned, if you experience breast pain, it is very likely not a serious health issue. In fact, research shows that about 50 – 70 percent of women will experience sharp or heavy breast pain, in most of these women pain usually subsides on its own.
Here are possible causes.
1. You are pregnant
Except you’ve carried out a pregnancy test and its negative, sore breast could be due to pregnancy. So, if you’ve had intercourse and yet have a negative pregnancy result, its recommended that you repeat your test after you’ve missed your period.
To be sure you have an accurate result, take your test in the morning, wait until you’ve missed your period, follow instructions clearly written in your purchased test kit, observe for other signs of pregnancy.
If you’ve carried your test right before your period (and its negative), your sore breast could be an early sign of pregnancy. Re-check in a weeks time to be sure.
However, if you’re sure you’re not pregnant, there are other causes of breast pain.
2. Estrogen/progesterone effect
Progesterone and estrogen mainly control your menstrual cycle. These hormones also have a huge impact on your breast tissue and can cause you to feel pain.
Anatomically, the breast is divided into lobule, lobes, ducts, and surrounding fatty tissues. The lobes are divided into lobules which is the part of the breast responsible for milk production. After milk is produced tiny channels, called ducts, help carry milk to the nipple.
During your menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone cause your duct, lobes, and lobule to enlarge making your breasts feel sore, heavy, burning or fuller than usual.
This type of hormonal breast change is typical in a lot of women, with a cyclical pattern. Usually, breast tenderness is felt midway through your menstrual cycle, and towards the end. The simple reason this happens is estrogen spike midway in your cycle and progesterone increase towards the end.
So, if your breast feels sore each month, there is no reason to panic. Take a chart of days you feel those pain and inform your doctor.
3. Sign your period is about to begin
If you are like most women, you already have different signs that tell you your next period is near. Usually, symptoms vary among women, but ordinarily, you may experience breast pain, lower belly cramps, headache, mood swings, food cravings, getting pimples, and fatigue
If you have these symptoms and breast pain few days to your expected period, then its a sign. YOUR PERIOD WILL START SOON.
4. Lifestyle changes
While breast pain happens mainly due to hormonal factors, it can also be triggered (or made worse) by some of your dietary habits.
Caffeine, contained in coffee and soda, can trigger breast soreness in women. This happens because of vasodilation effect of methylxanthine, a substance found in caffeine.
Its still not clear how caffeine causes breast tenderness, but in some women, cessation of caffeine intake has improved symptoms.
Also, taking foods rich in salt (sodium) can trigger or worsen your breast symptoms. This is because, salt causes water retention, making your breast feel heavier than usual with tightness.
Brest pain while not pregnant: When to worry?
While you shouldn’t panic if you experience breast tenderness each month, you should see you doctor if symptom gets severe. Here are other severe causes of breast pain
Mastitis, which means an infection of the breast could be the reason you have breast pain. This type of breast infection mostly affects pregnant women (puerperal mastitis), though it could also happen to young girls (periductal mastitis)
For breastfeeding mothers, poor feeding technique and not regularly feeding your baby can cause a breast infection. Other causes are penetrating breast injury, nipple piercing, and smoking.
Symptoms include fever, breast pain, redness (inflammation), chills and nipple discharge. If you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately.
2. Brest lump/cyst
Rarely, a breast lump or cyst can cause women to experience breast soreness especially around the outer-upper end of your breast. Sometimes, pain may radiate to your armpit.
Breast lump (fibroadenoma) is mainly found in young women under 30 years, and in the majority of women, it is painless. Lump size may vary during your menstrual cycle, and it may even disappear on its own.
Nevertheless, if you have lumps that continue to increase in size, inform your doctor for breast examination.
3. Pus in the breast (Abscess)
Another reason you could have painful, swollen breast is an abscess. An abscess means the collection of pus inside your breast tissue and could result from a complicated breast infection.
4. Brest cancer
According to brestcancer.org, 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Because of this, it is common to see women panic for any change to their breast tissue.
First of all, breast cancer rarely causes pain in the initial stages of the disease. In fact, if you just noticed a sharp breast pain, it is likely not due to breast carcinoma.
Having said that, if you are palpating a lump inside your breast that doesn’t go away for months, it could be due to cancer. Other breast cancer signs are
- Changes to the overlying skin covering the breast
- Axillary lymph nodes (that is, small swelling at your armpit)
- Weigh loss
- You are experiencing nipple discharge that is bloody, reddish, brownish or clear
- Withdrawal of your nipple into your breast
- If you have these symptoms, its possible you already have breast carcinoma. See your doctor right away.
Home remedies for breast pain
- Use supportive bra
- Avoid tight bra, especially while breastfeeding
- Avoid food rich in salt/sodium
- Take Tylenol tablets
- Take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) – Ibuprofen, Naproxen
- Inform your doctor; some women may benefit from the use of oral contraceptives.
Sore breast not pregnant no period, Why?
If you are experiencing a sore breast, missed period and negative pregnancy test, it could be due to many factors.
One major reason is long-term stress. Other causes are menopause, polycystic ovaries, premature ovarian failure, side effects of contraceptive pills, emergency contraception use, and also, it could be pregnancy.