Advertisement

What are some causes of breast pain?

Likely causes of breast pain are:

  • Fibrocystic changes in the breast tissue, which can cause the breast to feel ropy or granular
  • Fluid-filled sacs (cysts) in the breast, enlarging and becoming tender before the menstrual period
  • Hormone changes at menopause
  • Estrogen replacement therapy
  • Infection in the milk ducts (mastitis)
  • Injury to the breast or nearby nerves
  • Inflammation of the breast bone and ribs, sometimes mistaken for breast pain
Dr. Jaspreet G. Kaur, DO
Family Practitioner

Some causes of breast pain, depending upon a woman’s age, are hormonal changes and inflammatory changes. For example, a woman’s menstrual cycle can cause pain. Breast tissue can engorge while a woman is on her period and that can cause pain and discomfort.

There could be breast pain if there is a nodule or a mass that's pressing and if there's any inflammatory reaction happening, especially in the axilla where the lymph nodes are. Also, if you have very dense fibrocystic breast tissue, or a lumpy breast tissue, that could mean there is a small cyst underneath, which could also cause breast pain.

Trinity Health recognizes that people seek medical information on a variety of topics for a variety of reasons. Trinity Health does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. As a Catholic health care organization, Trinity Health acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition.

Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.

The most common cause of breast pain in women is caffeine.

The most common breast pain occurs right before the period due to hormone activity.

Hormones are linked to pain and tenderness in the breasts.

Continue Learning about Women's Health

What You Need to Know About Endometriosis
What You Need to Know About Endometriosis
About 5 million American women are living with endometriosis. Endometriosis happens when the tissue that lines your uterus, called the endometrium, st...
Read More
How can I know if I'm ready to have a child?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
There's no bigger decision than when—or whether—to have children. In this video, clinical psycho...
More Answers
7 Reasons You Miss Your Period (Without Being Pregnant)
7 Reasons You Miss Your Period (Without Being Pregnant)7 Reasons You Miss Your Period (Without Being Pregnant)7 Reasons You Miss Your Period (Without Being Pregnant)7 Reasons You Miss Your Period (Without Being Pregnant)
Skipping a menstrual cycle doesn’t always mean you’re expecting. 
Start Slideshow
What Marie Osmond’s Mother Told Her
What Marie Osmond’s Mother Told Her

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.