Chest pain or mastalgia is a condition that, in one way or another, 70% of women have experienced. Half of them, discomfort forces to reduce sexual activity, and about 12% - interferes with daily activities. Every tenth (of the total) painful condition can last more than 5 days a month. What causes this problem, and how to learn to coexist with it? Let's figure it out.
Classification and causes
If we talk about whether the chest should hurt in one or another period of the menstrual cycle, the correct answer is no, it should not. Pain is always a signal of any trouble, no matter whether it appears before ovulation, during the period of ovulation or immediately after ovulation.
Depending on how mastalgia is associated with the menstrual cycle, it can be:
- cyclic - occurs at the same time of the menstrual cycle,
- acyclic - not related to the cycle,
Caused by hormonal causes. Often a woman can clearly say after what kind of hormonal adjustment her chest began to hurt: in adolescence when the menstrual cycle was established, during pregnancy or after childbirth, while taking hormonal contraceptives. Such pain often disappears after menopause. Usually they occur in the second half of the cycle and last about a week, but in some women breast tenderness can last more than 2 weeks and even throughout the entire cycle.
Most often the chest hurts one week after ovulation (in other words, one week before the menstruation). Women characterize it as stupid, aching, giving to the armpits. The chest becomes sensitive, it seems heavy, it can swell. Some complain not to dull, but to burning pain.
To explain exactly why the chest hurts after ovulation, doctors still can not: for today there are about 40 theories, and none to the end is not proven. The main reason for this is hormonal imbalance, in particular, an increase in prolactin production of the anterior pituitary due to impaired regulatory processes. Some blame for this increased activity of thyrotropin-releasing hormone, which, in addition to influencing the production of thyroid-stimulating hormone, causes an increase in prolactin secretion. Others speak of a violation of lipid metabolism, which causes an increase in prolactin levels.
Be that as it may, prolactin reduces the production of progesterone by the corpus luteum cells, which are formed at the follicle site after ovulation. Disrupted the normal relationship between estrogen and progesterone in serum.
Previously, it was believed that this causes water retention in the body, and this is due to swelling and chest pain. But the latest research has revealed that in fact there is no difference between the amount of fluid in the body of women suffering from mastalgia, and not having it. The relative excess of estrogen causes swelling and hypertrophy of the connective tissue in the lobules of the breast.
In addition, estrogens provoke excessive development of the epithelium of the ducts, which can lead to their obstruction (blockage) and the occurrence of cystic cavities, which also causes pain.
Most often one-sided, it can occur sporadically - the chest begins to hurt before or after ovulation - and disappear or, on the contrary, continue for a long time.
Such pain may be caused by:
- Hormonal changes: pregnancy, taking hormonal contraceptives. Of course, in the case of hormonal contraceptives, it is impossible to associate the appearance of pain with ovulation, all the more so that “breast pain during ovulation” cannot be said - these drugs are effective precisely because they prevent the maturation of the egg. The problem is that they change the normal ratio of estrogen and progesterone. Usually the body is “rebuilt” in 2-3 months of contraception, and the pain disappears.
- Medication: often occurs with antidepressant therapy. They cause an increase in serotonin levels in the blood, and serotonin stimulates the production of prolactin.
- Injury, mastitis, thrombophlebitis.
- Pretumor and neoplastic processes. If the pain in the chest appeared for the first time after 40 years, or the chest doesn’t hurt as usual during the ovulatory period, this is a reason for prompt treatment to the doctor. Fortunately, this cause of pain is not the most frequent.
- Other diseases: sclerosing adenosis, reactive sclerosis of the connective tissue.
Very often in popular articles, talking about hormonal imbalance, they write that their chest hurts on the day of ovulation, linking such a condition with an increase in the amount of progesterone in the blood. This is not true. Progesterone is actively produced by the corpus luteum, which occurs in the ovary after ovulation at the site of the “hatched” egg. Its concentration in the blood reaches a maximum not the day after ovulation.
Caused by causes not related to the state of the breast. These can be intercostal neuralgia, cardiovascular pathology (an attack of ischemia), gastrointestinal diseases, such as esophagitis. The most common cause of extramammary mastalgia is Teic syndrome: rib-sternal inflammation.
How many days after ovulation can a chest hurt?
Normally, this happens approximately one week after the egg is released and the yellow body forms, that is, “one week before the menstruation” - with an average statistical cycle time of 28 days (the cycle is counted from the first day of menstruation).
Can breast ache during ovulation?
Yes, it can - in case of severe mastalgia, the pain may be disturbed for almost the entire cycle. But if we talk about the characteristic pain, as a sign of ovulation, it is a pain in the lower abdomen, not in the chest.
It is believed that minor discomfort before menstruation is a variant of the norm. But when the chest hurts a lot, there’s nothing to say about the quality of life. And given that the level of stress in a woman suffering from this disease, is comparable to the level of stress of a person who has just learned about his own oncological pathology - at least, according to research - treatment becomes necessary.
But before grasping potent drugs, you need to reconsider the lifestyle and diet.
We offer you to read a few tips to reduce or completely get rid of pain:
- Find the right bra: helps 85% of women. Instructions on the correct selection of the size of linen in the network set, it makes no sense to repeat. Wearing a sconce instead of the usual one can also have a good effect.
- Avoid stress, learn relaxation techniques: stress stimulates the production of prolactin. In one of the studies conducted, women were forced to listen to audio recordings intended for relaxation. After 4 weeks of similar therapy, 61% of the “experimental” patients confirmed a decrease in the intensity and duration of pain.
- A low-fat diet has been shown to reduce the production of prolactin. In order to have a therapeutic effect, fats should provide no more than 15% of the caloric intake. 1 gram of fat contains 9 kcal, that is, in a medical diet should be 25-30 grams of fat.
- Many doctors advise women to lose weight in excess. In theory, this makes sense: fatty tissue synthesizes estrogens. But large-scale studies, confirming or refuting the effect of losing weight on the severity of chest pain, have not yet been.
- Exercise reduces the level of circulating estrogens, which reduces the symptoms of mastalgia. Of course, be sure to use sports underwear with good support.
- Chest pain caused by taking hormonal contraceptives usually goes through several cycles. If it causes such severe discomfort that it is not possible to wait, and contraception is necessary, a lower-dose drug should be selected.
Canadian researchers have shown that women who receive 25 grams of flax seed daily in baking or as a salad dressing suffer less chest pain than the control group.
- Vitex Sacred (Vitex Agnus Castus)
He is an ordinary prutnyak, he is a monastic pepper - efficiency has been proven at a daily intake for 2 months. Such drugs based on it are known in Russia as Cyclodinone, Mastodinon, Agnukaston, Nolfet.
Its effectiveness has been proven, but the mechanism of action remains unclear.
The use of calcium in the form of nutritional supplements reduces the severity of chest pain, but the most effective is calcium, obtained with food. Thus, the severity of symptoms in women who drank skim milk or whey three times a day was reduced by 95%.
"The first" line of therapy - gels for external use "Diclofenac" and "Piroxicam"
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory local action
To reduce chest pain, you can use a gel or cream with Diclofenac or Piroxicam. It is necessary to apply means every 8 hours. This drug is often recommended by foreign doctors as a “first line” therapy.
Intravaginally administered, in the form of suppositories or cream, is effective in 64.9% of women.
Synthetic androgen with antigonadotropic action. It is effective in 70% of cases of cyclic mastalgia and in 31% of cases acyclic. The main factor limiting the use of this tool - side effects: menstrual dysfunction, "hot flashes", weight gain, acne, seborrhea.
Danazol is not combined with hormonal contraceptives, and, since it can potentially disrupt the development of the fetus, it is necessary to use barrier means of protection when using it. There is a study proving that the side effects of the drug almost disappear if it is used only in the luteal phase of the cycle (after ovulation).
Officially not intended for the treatment of mastalgia. According to the instructions, it is used to treat breast cancer and endometrium. However, at a dose of 10 mg, tamoxifen is effective in 90% of women after a three-month course. Side effects include cycle disturbances, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, deep vein thrombosis.
A dopaminergic receptor agonist (commonly used in the treatment of parkinsonism) that blocks the production of prolactin from the anterior pituitary gland. Effective against chest pain, but has side effects such as headache, dizziness, blood pressure surges.
- Lizurid (dopergin)
Another dopamine agonist, at a dose of 2 mg, reduces chest pain after a two-month course. Side effects - tachycardia, lower blood pressure, dyspeptic manifestations.
Remember. Medicines must prescribe a doctor! The description of funds in this article is given only for informational purposes.
Chest pain is a common female problem. Before ovulation, the chest is extremely rare - most often the discomfort appears shortly before the menstruation, that is, one week after ovulation. But in severe cases, the pain can last for several weeks, and even throughout the cycle. As a rule, the cause of pain - a hormonal imbalance. For its correction, first of all, it is recommended to change the mode of the day and the power pattern.
Phytopreparations and local anti-inflammatory drugs (ointments, gels) based on diclofenac are recommended as first-line therapy. If this does not help - the doctor may prescribe medications that affect the hormonal balance - but they have many side effects, so they are recommended only in extreme cases.
Why chest pain before ovulation
In the middle of the monthly cycle, the egg leaves the follicle and enters the fallopian tube. This stage is characterized by the active preparation of the body to conceive and bear the fetus. When your chest hurts during ovulation, you should not worry, because this is a normal physiological phenomenon. Its occurrence is associated with an increase in the concentration of sex hormones in the blood, including progesterone.
This stage of the cycle begins on the 12-15th day. Most of the representatives of the fair sex when ovulating with painful sensations in the chest. This part of the body, along with the uterus and ovaries, is hormone-dependent, so it reacts to any changes in the body.
Every woman ovulation lasts differently. Therefore, answering the question whether the chest can hurt during ovulation, it is impossible to say for sure that in 100% of cases this is the norm. It is important to pay attention to well-being. If, in addition to discomfort in the nipple area, symptoms such as nausea at the time of ovulation, severe dizziness and vomiting occur, the likelihood of developing pathology is high.
Breast before ovulation becomes more sensitive. It swells and itches often. The increase in its size is associated with the rapid development of the body's hormone progesterone, which is involved in stimulating the formation of additional milk ducts. As a result, the soft tissues of the thoracic region are rapidly stretched.
Under the influence of progesterone, ovulation can actually hurt the chest. Usually, discomfort occurs before this period of the cycle, in 1–2 days, and disappears after the start of monthly discharge.
Excess progesterone provokes:
- Tingling and itching in the nipple area.
- Breast edema, as a result of which there is an increase.
- Stitching and burning pains in the area of the mammary glands.
- Increased sensitivity.
Breast tenderness after ovulation
After moving the egg to the uterus, discomfort in the nipple area can be disturbed before desquamification begins (endometrial detachment). If there is an excess of progesterone in the body, then the breast after ovulation will hurt and itch. Consider the most common causes of this symptom.
Most girls experience signs of premenstrual syndrome immediately after ovulation. The onset of this period is indicated by the manifestation of such symptoms:
- Mood swings.
- Breast swelling.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Headache before menstruation.
- Vomiting (rarely occurs).
If the chest hurts after ovulation, there is no reason to panic. Puffiness and discomfort in the nipple area appear 1–2 days before the egg leaves the follicle, and disappears after the onset of menstruation.
However, in some cases, discomfort in this part of the body is disturbed throughout the entire period of menstruation.
Breast after ovulation can hurt for 1 week, if a woman:
- Subjected to stress.
- Rarely in the open air.
- Faced with hormonal disorders.
- It has gynecological pathology.
Also, this unpleasant symptom of PMS often makes itself felt with long-term oral contraceptives.
The doctor who deals with the treatment of mastopathy will definitely ask the woman when her chest starts to hurt: before or after ovulation. If the discomfort in this part of the body does not disappear after the completion of menstruation, this is an alarming symptom. Perhaps the presence of pathology.
The development of serious diseases, such as mastopathy, leads to hormonal imbalance. As a result, the monthly cycle fails, and unpleasant symptoms appear.
With the development of fibrocystic mastopathy, the breast after ovulation is very sore and swollen. You can find seals in it while probing.
If in the area of the mammary glands there are large clots, pressure on which provokes pain, you should immediately begin treatment. Timely diagnosis of mastopathy will help to avoid surgery.
If the chest starts to hurt due to the presence of a neoplasm, there is a high risk of developing complications. For example, a clot can develop into a tumor. The faster the pathology develops, the more discomfort is felt.
Mechanism of chest pain
Systematic changes in the mammary gland are associated with the menstrual cycle. We found that the discomfort in the chest after and before ovulation is the physiological norm. The swelling of the glands is the result of the hormonal adjustment of the body and the rapid production of progesterone.
Usually, chest discomfort is aggravated when a yellow body forms at the site of the bursting follicle. After that, the ratio between estrogen and progesterone is disturbed in the blood serum, as a result of which the mammary gland is poured and swells.
Also, after the formation of the yellow body increases the sensitivity of the nipples.
Causes pain not only changes in the hormonal composition of the blood, but also an increase in the amount of breast tissue. The process of its growth is necessary for the subsequent production of milk. Unpleasant sensations in this part of the body appear due to pressure on the blood vessels and nerve endings.
In the absence of conception, the level of progesterone decreases, with the result that the nipples lose their increased sensitivity. They also stop itching and hurt.
If the chest pain arising in the middle of the monthly cycle does not stop with the onset of desquamation, it is recommended to undergo a medical examination. Sometimes doctors associate this symptom with individual sensitivity. In this case, completely get rid of it will not succeed.
Treatment and diagnosis of the cause of pain
In case of a pathological condition of the mammary gland, one should regularly undergo a medical examination in order to avoid the development of complications.
If the ovulation chest hurts, but at the same time the state of health does not worsen, it is likely that premenstrual syndrome has occurred. In this case, the treatment of such discomfort is not a necessity. With a stable monthly cycle, it is stopped after the start of menstruation.
If unpleasant sensations in this part of the body have arisen due to gynecological pathology, for example, mastopathy, the doctor will recommend the woman to take medications, the purpose of which is to restore the hormonal level.
If neoplasms are detected during palpation in the thoracic zone, a specialist will prescribe such diagnostic measures:
- Ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs and mammary glands.
- Hormonal testing.
- General blood analysis.
In the absence of tumors in the breast, phytotherapy, rest and hormonal medication are prescribed.
To help you get rid of this unpleasant symptom, you need to follow these guidelines:
- Compliance with the rules of healthy eating. Salt retains fluid in the body, so that the breast before menstruation does not swell much, you need to minimize its consumption.
- Failure to close the bra. Wearing underwear should not provoke discomfort.
- Avoiding stressful situations. The development of the body cortisol, a stress hormone, provokes increased pain.
- Full sleep. A person must sleep at least 7 hours a day. It is necessary for proper metabolism and normal functioning of the body.
- Phytotherapy. If you completely eliminate contact with the stress-causing irritant, it does not work out, you need to apply one of the relaxation techniques. To get rid of increased anxiety by using herbal infusion, yoga or hot bath.
If you comply with preventive measures, the manifestation of unpleasant premenstrual symptoms can be avoided. Before stopping chest discomfort with medicines, it is recommended to consult a doctor.