Why Are My Breasts Suddenly Getting Bigger?

Reviewed on 3/7/2021

Why Do Breasts Feel Different Before Your Period?

Do Breasts Get Bigger Before Your Period?
Breast changes are a normal part of the menstrual cycle. Some women have noticeable breast changes, while others may feel no significant symptoms.

Exercising your back and abdominal muscles helps keep your back healthy and strong. Strong and flexible back muscles prevent stress on the backbone, damage to the ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place, and the lower back pain that results from the stress of injury and inflammation.

Back and abdominal muscles wrap around the spine and protect it. Back muscles maintain space between the vertebrae and prevent the cartilage between them from wearing out and pinching the nerves. Maintaining strong back muscles helps prevent back injuries and lower back pain.

Muscle and ligament strain/sprain are the most common causes of low back pain. Back strain can result suddenly from lifting a weight, injury, or a fall, or come on gradually as a culmination of weak muscles and a poor posture

Certain medical conditions can also cause back pain, which should be diagnosed and appropriately treated to resolve the back pain symptoms.

Generally, back pain from strain or sprain can resolve with bed rest for a short period, but staying inactive for too long can worsen the problem. Strengthening the back with exercises is the best solution for stopping back pain from becoming chronic.

Why do breasts get bigger before your period?

Breasts get bigger before a period because a woman’s body prepares for a possible pregnancy with every menstrual cycle. The blood supply to the breasts increases, and milk ducts and glands grow in size in readiness to produce milk if required. If conception does not take place, these symptoms subside.

What causes the premenstrual breast changes?

The rise in levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone causes premenstrual breast changes in a woman. Symptoms subside and breasts return to normal with menstruation, when the hormone levels drop.

During the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, the ovaries produce increasing levels of estrogen. Estrogen helps the eggs mature, and also stimulates the growth of milk ducts in the breasts.

After the egg is released (ovulation), the ovaries produce progesterone, a hormone that improves blood supply to the breasts, and stimulates the growth of milk glands. Progesterone also thickens the uterus lining for implantation and nurturing of the embryo.

If conception does not take place, hormone levels fall, the new uterine lining is discharged with menstruation, breast symptoms subside and the cycle begins again.

Is breast tissue more dense before period?

Research indicates that breast tissue gets more fibrous (fibrocystic), denser, and less fatty before periods. Researchers suggest that the accuracy of mammograms can improve if performed in the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle when the breasts are less dense.

An added benefit to timing mammograms in this way is that it may also reduce discomfort or pain for many women because breasts may not feel as tender during the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle. However, some women may still have discomfort during a mammogram.

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Can your nipples get bigger before period?

Though breasts undergo changes before a period, nipples rarely undergo any change. If the nipples get bigger, or the colored area (areola) around the nipple gets dark, it may suggest pregnancy. Any other unusual changes to the nipple must be checked by your doctor.

When should you call your doctor about breast changes?

Breast changes can also occur for reasons other than the menstrual cycle. It may be useful to learn to self-examine your breasts for any abnormal changes and be aware of what is normal for your breasts.

See your doctor if the breast symptoms are not cyclic and do not subside with menstruation, or if you are 40 or older and have never had a mammogram.

You should see your doctor if you have:

  • Severe symptoms that make it difficult to sleep and simple home remedies such as diet and exercise do not help
  • New, unusual, changing lumps in your breasts or under the arms
  • Lumps on only one breast
  • Discharge from the nipples, particularly if it is brown or bloody
  • Nipple becoming pointed or turning inward
  • Itching, redness, dimpling, or puckering of the breast skin

What are the home remedies for premenstrual breast pain?

Following are some home remedies that may help ease premenstrual breast pain:

  • Eat a low-fat diet
  • Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, and chocolate)
  • Limit salt because it can increase fluid retention
  • Make a habit of daily exercise
  • Wear a bra that fits well and supports the breasts
  • Try hot or cold compresses
  • There is no clear evidence, but vitamin E, vitamin B6, and evening primrose may be beneficial. Never take any supplement without discussing it with your doctor.

What is the best medicine for premenstrual breast pain?

If the premenstrual breast pain and other symptoms do not get resolved with home remedies, the doctor may treat you with one of the following: 

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Reviewed on 3/7/2021
References
https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/symptoms/premenstrual-breast-changes

https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/breast-changes-menstrual-cycle

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003153.htm#:~:text=Hormone%20changes%20during%20the%20menstrual,a%2028%2Dday%20cycle).

https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/releases/1998/06/Mammogramscycles.html