Throughout our menstrual cycle we have several different changes in our body and sore boobs is one! Breast tenderness or pain is a common PMS symptom.  Most commonly it is the feeling of a sore or dull ache around two weeks before your period and can be tender for a number of days.

Types of breast pain

Cyclical breast tenderness and swelling is a common symptom leading up to menstruation. Some women will notice tenderness immediately following ovulation and not get any relief until their period has begun. Cyclical breast pain is generally caused by oestrogen dominance or progesterone deficiency. Excess or unopposed oestrogen is inflammatory and causes breast tissue to grow and become tender. Treatments are usually based on reducing oestrogen and supporting adequate progesterone production.

It’s important to note there is 2 types of breast pain, cyclic and non-cyclic

Cyclic breast pain

Cyclic breast pain is linked to our menstrual cycle. It is related to the monthly fluctuation in the estrogen and progesterone levels, making this pain appear and disappear cyclically. This kind of cyclical breast pain that occurs every month and usually subsides on its own once menstruation begins.

Non-cyclic breast pain

This type of breast pain is not linked to your menstrual cycle and does appear to grow or subside with your period. If you are experiencing this type of a non-cyclical breast pain, consult your doctor for a mammary examination to find out possible underlying causes.

If you notice the soreness in your breasts appearing and subsiding every month, then it is most probably cyclical breast pain. Make sure you speak with your GP or naturopath about any sort of breast pain if you are concerned at all. If you are not sure if the pain is cyclic, make sure you chart your symptoms. If you want to learn more about charting make sure you jump on the online How to Chart course and get all the information you need.

How to reduce breast pain before period?

While cyclical breast pain tends to subside on its own at the start of the period, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce or manage the breast soreness and pain.

Alisa Vitti is a functional nutrition and women’s hormone expert, the founder of modern hormone health care company FLO Living. Here are some of the effective methods she suggestions to reduce pain:

  • Reduce/eliminate caffeine intake: Since studies have linked high consumption of caffeine with breast pain, try reducing your daily coffee intake, or switch to decaf for effective results. This also means reducing your intake of all drinks and foods with caffeine, such a soft drinks, energy drinks, tea, chocolates etc.
  • Follow a low fat diet: Adopting a diet which is low in fat has been shown to reduce breast tenderness, according to research. Switch high fat foods with wholesome, high fibre alternatives such as whole grains and vegetables, along with complex carbohydrates.
  • Wear a firm, supportive bra: Go for a properly supportive bra, preferably fitted by a professional, to make sure your breasts receive adequate support. Since breast tissue is delicate, the right fitting bra helps minimize breast movement, reducing the pain associated with excess swaying of the breasts.
  • Relaxation techniques: Gentle exercise, simple breathing exercises, massage, aromatherapy and deep breathing have all been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Painkillers: Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen can provide temporary relief. However, long term of such medicines should be avoided, as it may cause liver damage. It is advised to discuss the use of painkillers for breast soreness with your doctor before proceeding.

I love using aromatherapy to support me through my cycle, whether it’s emotional or mood enhancing or the physical impacts such as painful periods. Here is some suggestions if you would like to use aromatherapy to combat sore boobs.

Aromatherapy Treatment

The most important therapeutic effects of essential oils include:

Anti-inflammatory effects as they diminish the inflammation in the breast tissue that may occur before menstruation, and not only. Analgesic (pain relieving) effects as some oils can numb the pain receptors, like Peppermint. Diuretic effects promotes excess water and toxin elimination. Circulatory effects of oils can stimulate the blood circulation. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to the inflamed and painful breast tissue. (Sumner)

Useful Oils

Palmarosa, Roman chamomile, lavender, frankincense, lemon eucalyptus, clary sage, bay laurel, rosemary, geranium, sweet orange, thyme and peppermint. Rosemary

Breast Tenderness Blend:

  • 30 mL sweet almond base oil
  • 3 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 4 drops of Palmarosa essential oil