Painful, tender or sore breasts/ nipples- causes, risk factors and solutions

sore breasts and tender painful nipplesPainful or sore breasts will occur in many women at some point in their lives, any time from puberty right through to after menopause.

Sore breasts and nipples are a common problem for many women. They can occur in women of almost any age and there are various different causes of breast pain and swollen, lumpy breasts. If you ever felt embarrassed about having severe pain in your breasts, don’t be. You’re in very good company.

Types of sore breasts

Breast pain can usually be divided into two groups:

  • Cyclical breast pain – this tends to occur every month at around the same time in your menstrual cycle
  • Non-cyclical breast pain – this type of breast pain occurs at any time and is not related to the menstrual cycle.

Causes of sore breasts and swollen nipples

Ultimately, what actually makes the breasts sore and swollen is too much water in the breast tissue. This causes the pressure and stretching of the breast tissue which causes pain. This accumulation of water, also known as water retention, also causes the bloating you may feel when you have painful swollen breasts.

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  1. I’m 42 and I finished my period 10 days ago and my breasts and nipples are extremely sore. It hurts to put on a bra and is worse if I wear a t-shirt without a bra. I am only an A cup so I know the problem isn’t that I’m too big. I started having cramps about four days ago and am on the pill so I’m sure I’m not pregnant. I get sore from time to time but never like this. Any ideas?

  2. As we say in medicine “Never say never.” Nothing is impossible. I hate trying to play God so I can’t really speculate as to whether you’re pregnant or not. There’s no point punishing yourself. The sooner you find out if you’re pregnant or not, the better.

  3. Hello, I am 29 years old and have not had a period in about 12 years. I have had many tests done at various Drs but with every one my diagnosis has been anything from lack of hormones to menopause. I’ve been told I can get pregnant by some and that i can’t by another. My husband and I have been having unprotected sex for quite some time. About 4 days ago I started having some slight discomfort in my lower abs and just yesterday my nipples started feeling extreamly sore. I’ve also been gettin lightheaded from time to time. I’m afraid to take pregnancy test due to being let down so many times in the past. What do you think my chances are that I could be pregnant?

  4. Hi Michelle. Wow, you seem to be having a tough time. It’s a little too early to know if you’re pregnant, but it is unlikely, though not impossible. Tying of the tubes has been known to fail. That said, you really need to see your doctor for a check up. Difficult to be sure what’s going on without an examination.

    • I just turned 40 in April and I had my tubes tied almost 18 yrs ago,starting yesterday I’ve noticed just my nipples are very sore, not my breast at all just the nipples, I am going through Perimenopause my doctor told me, I have noticed since last month which was April that I’m an emotional wreck, getting teary eyes and now I’m getting strange bubble burps something like acid refulx, my question is, is this all from Perimenopause if so OMG I HATE IT””my doctor is away on vacation so I can’t ask him, I need some feedbacks, thanks for your time.

  5. hi
    i have had a breast scan and i donot have cancer,but i have sists many of them.i had claped my tubes 6yrs ago.Now my nipples are vey sore,i feel off colour and my back is so last period was 20/12/07,they have been sore for about 2wks and my breast every morning feel like someone had punched them,i craved icecream 2day.i was consturpated for 3days,could i be pregnant or what is wrong pls help.


    • Hi, I’m havin the same problem . I had my tubes claped 9 yrs.ago . I hav clear and a yellowish discharge come from my breast . Did u ever find out what ur problem was ? If so reply as soon possible . Thanks alot !!

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