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Why do your breasts get tender before your period?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The same thing that causes increased hunger, mood swings, and all the other things associated with menstrual cycle: Hormonal fluctuations. They're what cause changes in the breast ducts and the breast lobules.

The breast pain usually occurs during the second half of the menstrual cycle when estrogen production increases and peaks just prior to middle of your cycle; it causes enlargement of the breast ducts, which then causes the pain. Simple anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin can help take the pressure off.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.