Breast changes

A breast change is any change in the breast from what is usual for a particular woman. Many women experience a variation in breast size or tenderness during their menstrual cycle, usually caused by fluctuations in the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Breast changes are common before menopause and during pregnancy and include:

  • Breast pain.
  • Breast lumps.
  • Nipple changes and discharge.
  • Changes in the skin, shape, or size of a breast.
  • Signs of a breast infection, such as redness, swelling, and tenderness.

Last Updated: January 20, 2010

Author: Jan Nissl, RN, BS

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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