Tender breast and sometimes associated with pain can happen especially during the early stage of menopause (perimenopause period). During this time, hormone fluctuations are at its peak particularly the overproduction of estrogen which cause tender breast.
Most women with tender breast symptom fear that it is sign of breast cancer but it is rarely the case. However, you should alert this to your doctor and a mammogram test can be conducted to determine whether it is breast cancer. It is also necessary for you to do mammogram at this particular age if you have never had this screening test.
In addition to taking notice of tender breast, you should also know how to perform breast self-examination properly preferably once a month. Look for unusual, one-sided or new lumps appearing in the breast. If a particular lump is not clearly benign (non cancerous), a breast biopsy will be conducted to determine the cause.
If the tender breast is solely caused by fluctuating hormones, it will usually subside as you progress further into menopause. As estrogen level decreases, so does its effect to the breast tissues.
The breast tissue is quite sensitive to high fat and high carbohydrate diet. This type of food stimulates the estrogen production resulting in tender breast. As such, reducing your dietary fat to about 25% of total daily calories consumption may be an option to be considered. If possible, reduce your coffee and tea consumption to minimize fibrocystic breast disease from developing.
To block the estrogen receptors in the breast, soy and flax seed that has isoflavones in them may be included in your diet. Herbs such as wild yam, vitex and red clover can also help in correcting the hormonal imbalance. Supplements such as vitamin E and vitamin B6 may also be beneficial for tender breast.
To help in dealing with your tender breast, you should wear a well-fitting bra to provide support and reduce the strain subjected to the tender tissues. Choose the fabric and design well as certain bra types can cause unnecessary skin irritation.
Progesterone cream applied to the breast once or twice daily helps keeping the estrogen in check. You should ask this option with your doctor to establish the right dosage. To reduce the pain, you can try using castor oil or ice packs.
Exercise is virtually of great benefit for all menopause symptoms. The same applies to tender breast problem. It is likely that the breast discomfort can be reduced with exercises as simple as 30 minutes walk.
If you are taking hormone replacement therapy, have it checked with your doctor. Over dosage may brings about tender breast and it usually can be adjusted by prescribing progesterone. You can also consider changing to natural HRT which usually achieved using herbs such as black cohosh, dong quai, ginseng and others.
Remember to always consult with your doctor before commencing any treatment for your tender breast problem. It is always advantageous to visit your doctor early as it will likely result in a successful treatment.