Breast Pain

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2009
Breast Pain
5
Sun, 04-11-2010 - 10:24pm

Hello, I am not sure if this is the right board to post on but here goes.

I am 26 yr. old female, healthy overall. I do not take any drugs and only drink maybe one drink a month. I do not smoke and have no health problems.

Over the past two and half months I have had severe breast pain. At one point and time it hurt to brush my arms / hands against my nipples. I thought it was a pre-period symptom however, my breasts get extremely sore almost 3 weeks before my period is due. I use to take birth control, the pill, but have not been on it for 7 months. About a month ago my nipples were leaking a clear liquid. Not enough to stain my clothes and only when I lightly squeezed my nipples. It went on for about a week and hasn't happened since. No, i am not pregnant, I have taken pregnancy tests and still get a normal period.

Most of the pain is in my nipples and they are swollen and the outer sides of my breasts. I have done a self exam and even had my husband check for lumps too he felt nothing unusual, any ideas?

I don't have health insurance and the state I live in doesn't offer assistance to low income families, so I am hesitant to go to the doctor, especially if it isn't anything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2009
In reply to: mrs_g_2009
Mon, 04-12-2010 - 12:32pm
Hello, Mrs. G, and welcome to the Women's Health board!



You gave us a good amount of information to start with (thank you!) but I have a few more questions:



• On a scale of 1 (hardly noticeable) to 10 (unbearable), how would you rate your average level of pain?

• Is the pain/swelling equal in both breasts, or is it worse in one?

• Is the severity of the pain constant, or does is fluctuate? If it changes, is there a pattern to the fluctuation, even if it's not in sync with your cycle?

• Are you trying to conceive?

• Has your stress level increased in the past few months?

• Besides going off birth control pills, have you started or stopped taking any medication or supplements (including OTC) in the past few months?



Here are a few links to aid you in your research, but I would also recommend seeing a doctor if at all possible. Planned Parenthood provides women's health services, or you can search on the Internet for free or reduced-fee health clinics in your area. You may e-mail me through my profile if you'd like help finding a clinic.



• iVillage Health topic overview: Breast Pain (Mastalgia)

• About.com: What is Mastalgia?

• Women to Women article: The mystery of breast pain — and how to solve it



Best of luck, and please let us know how you're doing. You're welcome here anytime.




bunsofclay


Community Leader of Women's Health



Kitchen Table tag
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2009
In reply to: mrs_g_2009
Mon, 04-12-2010 - 7:39pm

Hey Thanks for all the great info. In response to your questions:

1. Some days its an 8 others it ranges from 3 to 5; On average probably a 6 / 7.

2. pain / swelling is equal in both breasts

3. The pain happens for about three weeks stops for one week and then starts up again. Sometimes it stops on my period other times it doesn't

4. nope not trying to conceive

5. stress level has actually decreased

6. I don't take any OTC but ibuprofen for the pain; no vitamins, nothing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2009
In reply to: mrs_g_2009
Wed, 04-14-2010 - 2:50pm
Thanks for your responses! I need to point out that I am not a medical professional, but just a woman who is pretty good at research and has learned to be a health advocate for herself and others.



Based on your answers, I suspect your breast pain has a hormonal basis. It is equal in both breasts and tends to follow a pattern rather than continuing to worsen, as might be expected with an infection. So now the question becomes what is causing the hormone problem? Finding the answer, and with it relief of your pain, may be tricky.



Here is a graphic representation of the female endocrine system:



Female Endocrine System

If the function of any of the hormone-producing glands is disrupted or altered for any reason, it can have effects throughout the body. I have heard of breast complaints being traced to problems with the thyroid and pituitary glands, for example.



While I understand your hesitancy to spend money on a doctor's visit, I would urge you to seek medical attention in order to receive proper diagnosis and treatment. You are living with a relatively high level of pain most of the time, and pain is one of our body's signals that something is wrong with it. The problem has been going on long enough that it seems unlikely it will go away on its own.



In addition to the other links I posted, try searching here to see if there is a women's health screening or clinic taking place in your area in conjunction with Women's Health Week: http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw/events/



Again, I wish you the best of luck. Please don't hesitate to visit the board with other questions, or an update, or just to say hi.



Gentle hugs,




bunsofclay


Community Leader of Women's Health



Kitchen Table tag
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2000
In reply to: mrs_g_2009
Sun, 04-18-2010 - 6:28pm

If the pain level is that high and continuous, you owe it to yourself to get this checked out.

 


~~joannaran~~

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2009
In reply to: mrs_g_2009
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 1:50pm
Thank you for sharing your experience, joannaran! I'm happy to hear you've found some ways to ease your discomfort.



I love the term "awfulizing," by the way — may I borrow it?



How are you doing after the knee replacement you had done over the summer? What did you finally decide to do about getting a flu shot?



Thanks for stopping by; I hope to see you again soon!




bunsofclay


Community Leader of Women's Health



Kitchen Table tag