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what causes only one breast to be tender while off the cycle and not hurt while on the cycle?

By January 6, 2012 - 1:55am
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I am 33 yrs old and have had my tubes tied since 2007 after my 3rd pregnancy. I have not had normal cycles since about 2005. I went to my OB/GYN doctor cause I was experiencing breast tenderness in only one breast (my left) for a month straight, and of course no cycle for months. He put me on this pill to take for 10 days and once I finished them I had my cycle and during this 8 day cycle it kicked my but, excessive bleeding (haveing to wear depends cause I bleed so much), cramping and I passed extremely large clots almost all day long. I went back to him and he explained to me about my uterus wall thinning and all but since my cycle was for 8 full days he puts me on another pill to take for 30 days that was for stopping cycles. After I completed this cycle I go a full 14 days from the last day of my period and I start again. I was concerned cause the pill he put me on said it was to prevent cycles. He said it was nothing to be concerned about as long as I wasn't over bleeding ( and I wasn't I was actually able to wear a normal pad the whole week). That cycle lasted 8 days as well. Well I ended up stoping the pills at about 10 left to go I was tired of the cycles. Now it is a full 7 days from the last day of that cycle I start again!! While I am on my cycles my left breast does not hurt (except for this cycle I am on now my left breast continues to progress in pain/tenderness as my cycle comes to an end) but when my cycles stop it hurts non stop and all under the breast where my bra would lay and internally but not to bad in the nipple area. I had a breast exam in the beginning of all this and he said no signs of knots or cancer,but suggested it might be my bra. The bra I had was a new one and underwire, but I had been wearing it for almost 6 months before the tenderness started and that wouldn't cause my breast to hurt on and off they way it does. Do you know what might cause this breast tenderness and only in one of them?

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The pain could be hormone-related if it has anything to do with your cycle. Have you considered going back or getting a second opinion from another doctor?

January 11, 2012 - 8:22am

Hi Changes in Life, 

Honestly, my first thought when I read your post was also that it may be your bra. Have you tried changing it to one with no underwire to rule out that possibility? If not, please do so that you at least know whether or not the pain on your breast is bra-related. I know you say you had been wearing it for 6 months before the pain but that could also mean that it's time to change the bra or it took a while for any pain to kick in. It's also very important to be properly fitted for a bra, so if you haven't been fitted by a professional, then it's a good idea to do so.

It is reassuring that your doctor performed a breast exam but if the pain persists after changing your bra then it would be a good idea to return to your doctor with your concerns. 

All the best,


January 6, 2012 - 5:45am
(reply to Rosa Cabrera RN)

Thank you so much for your response. The only reason I am not sure if it's the bra or not is because I am a stay at home mom and I do stay at home a lot so honestly I go around without a bra a lot and everyday practically. So even without wearing the bra the left breast still hurts, here lately it's mostly all on the underneath side of it. When my doc examined me it was hurting all along the side as far up as under my arm pit as well. So if I don't wear my bra but maybe once to twice a week all day could the pain still be caused by the bra? Also, why does it stop hurting while I am on my cycle and hurt when I quit my cycle?

January 6, 2012 - 10:41am
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