Cyclic breast pain

Cyclic breast pain, which is caused by a woman's normal monthly hormone changes, is usually most severe before a menstrual period and then is relieved during the menstrual period. It is generally described as a heaviness or soreness, and it often radiates to the armpit and arm.

Cyclic breast pain is often accompanied by harmless breast lumpiness, also known as fibrocystic breast changes. These changes also come and go with the menstrual cycle.

Most cyclic breast pain goes away without treatment and usually disappears at menopause, when menstrual periods end.

Last Updated: June 19, 2008

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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