Breast pain that comes unexpectedly, without a link to the course of the menstrual cycle, can sound like an alarm bell. Almost always it is a simple annoyance and nothing more, but to be sure a specialist visit is essential.
This article was developed in collaboration with our team of medical specialists
Breast pain (mastodynia) is a very frequent symptom in women of any age , generally near the arrival of menstruation, but not only. Mastodynia , in fact, can be completely independent of the menstrual cycle and also occur in menopause .
When breast pain comes without a correlation with menstruation, it could be a source of anxiety and worry . Also in consideration of the fact that it is such a generic disorder (it can have very different causes , even a trivial wrong bra model) that it is difficult to identify its origin . The simplest and most useful thing to do to dispel any doubts (and regain serenity) is to undergo a breast examination.
In this post we talk specifically about menstrual-independent mastodynia and breast pain in menopause . Here’s what it is and what to do if you suffer from it.
What is mastodynia
Mastodynia is the medical term that identifies the breast pain . This can manifest itself as:
- pain intense
- heaviness of breast tissue
- twinges inside the breast
- breast swelling
- burning of the breast and surrounding areas
As we have said, there are at least two different types of mastodynia:
- mastodynia linked to the menstrual cycle , therefore physiological and cyclical which often occurs in relation to ovulation or the arrival of the cycle.
- period-independent mastodynia , which can originate from various factors and which must be reported to the doctor to investigate the causes. You can also talk to your gynecologist , who will refer you to the breast specialist in specific cases.
Swollen and sore breasts in menopause: the causes
We are talking about the latter case: cycle-independent mastodynia , that is, breast pain that occurs independently of hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle .
This type of mastodynia, precisely because it is not connected to the arrival of menstruation, can suddenly arise and just as suddenly disappear , or, in some cases, be persistent for long periods. Precisely for this variety of the disorder, it is not always easy to identify the causes with certainty.
The most frequent can be:
- Hormonal imbalances typical of menopause : changes in the production of estrogen and progesterone can cause pain and stinging in the breast
- Hormone therapies : Taking hormone-based medications can have breast pain as a side effect
- Breast lumps : Some can cause pain if they change position in the breast or are quite hard. Nodules must always be checked periodically : in many cases, removal is not necessary but constant monitoring of their behavior is.
- Breast cancer : only in very rare cases (just 0.4%, according to Lilt, the Italian League for the Fight against Cancers ) breast pain can be a symptom of a malignant lesion. However, this does not exclude that it is advisable to report any kind of discomfort to the doctor . When they involve pain, breast tumors can cause swelling, pain in the breast but also in the nipple and retraction of the same, redness and thickening of the entire breast.
Breast pain and burning: what to do
A mammogram every two years for women between 45 and 69 years old should be a routine check-up (according to the National Health System Guidelines ); when breast pain comes suddenly and appears evident, for the reasons that each woman knows, that it is not related to the menstrual cycle, it is essential to consult a doctor immediately.
You can also report your disorder to the gynecologist or go directly to a breast specialist who will proceed with the appropriate screenings (mammography or breast ultrasound, even according to age).
Excluding important pathologies, the pain, which usually regresses spontaneously , can be relieved with treatments that will be recommended by the same specialist who will carry out the check-up.