Breast pain

A common sign that can develop during menopause...

...most often associated with hormonal changes and imbalances

Sore Breasts

Why does menopause cause breast pain?

Breast pain in women is most often associated with hormonal changes and imbalances, although the exact reason is unclear.

During the hormonal fluctuations of the peri-menopause and menopause, breasts can increase in size. This occurs when the level of the hormone progesterone increases while oestrogen decreases.

The result can be pain and tenderness.

While some women experience breast pain much later in life, in the majority of cases, breast pain settles down shortly after the menopause or when periods stop.

Breast pain is a common sign that can develop during menopause

While breast discomfort during menopause is not usually cause for alarm, it is always a good idea to double check.

Though breast pain is rarely a sign of cancer, speaking with a health professional and ruling out breast cancer can be a great help to put you at ease and to discuss how to manage this sign of menopause.

Related Article – Sore Breasts

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.