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Causes For Breast Soreness?

By February 9, 2011 - 11:03pm
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Hey! I think I may be a bit young to be worrying about all of this, but I have recently been having constant pain my breasts, and after much googling and scaring the life out of myself, thinking I was going to lose a breast to cancer, I decided just asking would be best.
Sooo... I am 21 years old, a college student, mildly stressed out most of the time, but nothing too serious. I am a cancer survivor, (thyroid cancer, 3 years ago, genetic... got it from my mum and grandfather). I have been with one man for over a year now, no pesky STD's, thank-you... I am not accustomed to pain in my breasts- small in that area, and wear a sport's bra during the day, free-falling while I sleep. No pain before or after my normal menstrual cycles.

I have one inverted nipple, one regular... been that way since I was little. Nothing new. I live in Maine... cold weather. Terrible. Sometimes if my right nipple, (inverted one), is cold for too long, it bruises... as it "comes out" like a normal nipple when cold. Super sensitive. Umm... can't think of anything else you would EVER need to know about me, or my breasts. ON TO SYMPTOMS! :D

Symptoms started about three days ago, and I noticed them in my right, (inverted nip), breast first. It is more pronounced in that breast than the other. Right breast is very sore- running fingers, cloth, or, *ahem*, "licking" of the nipple causes pain. But it isn't always painful on the nipple. The pain is constant inside my breast. I had my boyfriend feel my breast, and he said nothing is different, that is feels exactly the same, (he has watched me do breast exams before and wanted to try, so he has a good idea of how things are shaped inside.) My right breast feels... bloated? It feels fuller than before, but not really to the touch. When I press down gently, fingertips on the areola only, that is when it hurts the most.
The left breast doesn't hurt as much, as it is just sensitive. Nipple still hurts a little when touched, but it is only half the pain as the right.

Next menstrual cycle will be about two weeks from now. OH! I am not on traditional birth control, but have had the Mirena IUD in for... about a year now. I recently lost my health insurance, and being a poor college student, have had to skip my thyroid hormone pill more than I ought to... Couldn't afford it during the winter break.

There ya go! Any ideas as to why my breasts are so sore? What do you all think?
-crosses fingers that she isn't preggo-

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Ashley

Thanks for your question and welcome! Congrats on being a cancer survivor!

To get to the pregnancy issue first - if you have having unprotected sex then there is always a risk of pregnancy but since you are mid-cycle, it's highly unlikely that these symptoms are due to a pregnancy.

There could be any number of reasons for your breast pain. Breast pain is known as Mastalgia. Some women have it all the time (and it can start out of the blue) and others have what is known as cyclical mastagia, meaning it's cause is due to your menstrual cycle so comes around each month (usually about a 7-10 days before your period is due) and fades quickly a day before or right as your period starts.

In general, Mastalgia can be caused by:

* Hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle
* Trauma to the breast
* Arthritis in the chest cavity and neck

Risk Factors

These factors increase your chance of developing mastalgia. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:

* Relatively high hormone levels (estrogen and progesterone) of the second half of the menstrual cycle
* History of arthritis
* Irritation of cervical (neck) nerve roots

You can read a lot more here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/breast-pain

If what you have is in fact, Mastalgia, wearing a well fitting bra can really help, as well as heat to the chest and possible an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter pain medication.

But you also may have a breast infection. If this has popped up all of a sudden, then a trip to a clinic might be in order. I really understand what having no insurance or being under-insured is like so I understand your concerns there. You may be able to find free help here from the National Association of Free Clinics- just punch in your zip code and see if there is a free clinic near you (there probably is) : http://www.freeclinics.us/

Obviously we can't diagnose anyone or say for sure what is wrong but I hope this information helps you and can guide you in the right direction.

Let us know how things progress or if we can help you more!

February 10, 2011 - 8:24am
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