Sore breasts and painful nipples can induce panic in many women who suddenly feel discomfort. Thankfully, in most cases there are totally harmless reasons why you might be feeling discomfort, reasons that don't lead to pregnancy or breast cancer. Here is a round-up of the most common suspects:
1. Your Intake of Coffee May Be to Blame
Consuming a lot of coffee, so studies have shown, can contribute to pain in your boobs. Although drinking coffee on its own won't lead directly to soreness in breasts, consuming coffee when soreness or pain has already set in can make discomfort worse for some women. Usually hormones are the reason for the discomfort, but coffee can make it worse.
2. Are You Wearing the Right Bra Size? Many Women Aren’t!
Getting a bra that fits properly is very, very important. If your bra is the wrong size, be it too large or too small, your breasts can start hurting. A bra that is too tight will cause the underwiring to cut into a woman's chest, bringing soreness and discomfort with it. A bra that is too large won't give enough support to a woman's breasts. A woman who leads an active life and moves around frequently will feel soreness at the end of her busy day.
3. You May Be Causing Strain on the Chest Muscles when Working out
Exercising at the gym or going jogging can also lead to soreness if the same muscles are exercised every day or workouts are not done as intended. The resulting soreness in chest muscles will translate into soreness in your breasts. Even vigorous gardening can have this effect if you don't shower afterwards and keep the exercised muscles warm.
4. Maybe Your Sports Bra is Not Providing Enough Support
If you lead an active life that includes sports, you should ensure you buy a new sports bra every so often because your breasts will require more support than a regular bra can give. Be sure to buy a sports bra that fits correctly and, if you are blessed with a larger bust, be sure the bra can handle extra and vigorous movement.
5. Breast Soreness is One of the Side Effects of Birth Control
The main suspect, when it comes to soreness in breasts, is invariably a hormonal change. More often than not, this is induced by certain types of birth control pills. Check the label or the small notice that comes with the box and you'll see there will be a warning about breast soreness, which can be a common side effect. Not everyone will experience this since the Pill works differently for every woman. Speak to your doctor and switch to a birth control method that won't cause havoc with your hormones.
6. Pre-menstrual Tension is All about Cramps and Mood Swings
The most common reason for breast soreness is PMS, when a woman's hormones are changing in the run-up to her period. It's normal to feel discomfort, even though some months can be worse than others. The right birth control pill, avoiding drinking too much coffee and gentle exercise will usually help, but speak to your doctor if you experience persistent breast pain during your period.
7. Breast Soreness is One of the Common Signs of Pregnancy
Breast soreness or discomfort can also be a symptom of pregnancy. If you have had unprotected sex, be sure to take a pregnancy test and get yourself checked for sexually transmitted diseases. If you've missed your period, don't jump to conclusions before you've had a pregnancy test!
8. Growing Pains Are a Very Real Thing when It Comes to Breasts
If you are still going through puberty, your breasts might be sore because they are developing. Think of skin and muscles stretching to create those luscious curves! There is a reason your parents mention "growing pains" every time you pull a face and sulk. Growing pains exist and that's why your breasts might feel sore, painful or sensitive at times.
Like all health issues, if something is causing you worry or symptoms persist, see your doctor. And this seems a good time to remind all ladies – please do a regular breast examination. Do you check your breasts regularly?