Breast Pain Causes and Type and How to relieve engorged breasts

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Breast changes are common. From the time a girl begins to develop breasts and begins menstruating and throughout life, women may experience various kinds of breast pain and other breast changes. Some of these changes normally occur during the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and with aging. Breast lumps, tenderness, and other changes may occur. Most breast lumps and other changes are not cancer.

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Your breast is composed of several glands and ducts that lead to the nipple and the surrounding colored area called the areola. The milk-carrying ducts extend from the nipple into the underlying breast tissue like the spokes of a wheel. Under the areola are lactiferous ducts. These fill with milk during lactation after a woman has a baby. When a girl reaches puberty, changing levels of hormones cause the ducts to grow and cause fat deposits in the breast tissue to increase. The glands that produce milk (mammary glands) that are connected to the surface of the breast by the lactiferous ducts may extend to the armpit area (axilla).

Types of breast pain

Breast pain is classified into three types, depending on the age, frequency and location at which it occurs. The three types of breast pain are:

Cyclic breast pain: Cyclic breast pain is the most common type of breast pain. It generally occurs in both breasts with the pain being felt in the entire breast. You may feel breast tenderness, swelling or lumpiness. Cyclic breast pain usually affects women who are in their 30s or 40s.

Non-cyclic breast pain: Most often this kind of breast pain usually occurs only in one breast. You may feel pain only in a specific area of your breast. Non-cyclic breast pain is characterized by a burning or sore kind of pain. Non-cyclic breast pain tends to affect women who are in their forties or fifties

Extra-mammary breast pain: This type of breast pain occurs from a cause other than the breast, such as muscles in the chest wall, but you may feel as though it is originating in the breast.

Causes of Breast Pain

Have you ever wondered what causes breast pain? There are many breast pain causes that lead to discomfort in your breasts. Following are the list of causes of breast pain:

1.  Hormones: It is seen that cyclic breast pain is linked to hormones. The hormonal changes during periods, pregnancy and after pregnancy play a major role in breast pain.

2.  Retention of Water: During periods, breasts absorb extra fluid instead of discharging it. This water retention may also cause breast pain.

3.  Physical factors: Non-cyclic breast pain is caused due to breast cysts, trauma, breast surgery and other factors related to the breast.

4.  Imbalance of Fatty Acids: The fatty acid imbalance affects the breast tissue cell sensitivity to hormone circulation. Thus, it is advised to take primrose oil capsules to restore fatty acid balance in the evening.

5.  Size of Breast: It is seen that heavy chested women suffer from non-cyclic breast pain. This breast pain is accompanied by neck pain, shoulder pain and back pain.

Symptoms of Breast Pain

Breast pain are usually of two types, cyclic breast pain and non-cyclic breast pain. Cyclic breast pain is the most common pain experienced by women. Non-cyclic breast pain is far less common than cyclic breast pain. It is seen in women who have undergone breast biopsy or any trauma to the breast.

How to relieve engorged breasts

Wear a snug fitting bra, twenty four hours a day to help the drying up of milk process.

Apply cold compresses to the breasts several times a day. This is another remedy to help relieve engorgement and inhibit further milk production.

Take anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to help relieve the pain.

Check with your doctor. While all of these remedies can be helpful to relieving breast engorgement, be sure to also see your doctor as engorged breasts can lead to infection.

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Dr.Mike Boucher has 803 articles online

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This article was published on 2010/10/04