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Breast Problems (cont.)

Prevention

To prevent breast tenderness, discomfort, or pain (mastalgia), follow these tips:

  • Wear a sports bra during exercise. A sports bra may prevent breast discomfort, pain, and injury during exercise or sports. It is important that the sports bra fit properly. It should keep the breasts almost motionless and allow them to move together with the chest, not separately. Be sure to replace your sports bra as the material stretches and become less supportive. A sports bra may need to be replaced every 6 months if it is used regularly.
  • Limit your salt intake. High salt intake may cause fluid retention. Fluid retention may be the cause of premenstrual breast tenderness.

To prevent nipple irritation during exercise:

  • Cover your nipple with a small bandage or a dab of petroleum jelly before you exercise.
  • Wear a sports bra that fits you properly. Avoid sports bras that are lined with cotton.
  • Avoid exercising in cold temperatures.
  • Wear a vest or jacket made from fabric that blocks the wind.

Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What symptoms do you have?
  • How long have you had your symptoms? Do your breast changes occur at the same time each month?
  • What is your age and general health?
  • Do you have menstrual periods? Are your periods regular?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Have you had children? Did you breast-feed? Are you currently breast-feeding?
  • Have you had a breast infection (mastitis) or a blocked milk duct in the past?
  • What prescription and nonprescription medicines are you taking?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with breast lumps or had any fluid or cysts drained from your breasts?
  • Have you ever had a mammogram or breast ultrasound?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with breast cancer?
  • Do you have any relatives who have noncancerous (benign) breast lumps or breast cancer?
  • Do you have any health risks?

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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