Your Breasts During Menopause (Spoiler Alert: Not Fun!)

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing eggs. This causes a drop in estrogen levels, which leads to hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and other symptoms. Some women also experience breast pain and tenderness. There are ways to relieve discomfort in the breasts, such as using over-the-counter medications or natural remedies

Keep reading to find out more about what happens to your breasts during menopause and how you can manage these changes. 

Breast Pain Before Menopause

Women of all ages can experience breast pain. Breast pain that is not linked to menopause is most likely caused by the menstrual cycle. This can cause breasts to feel tender, sore, achy, and heavy. It will usually only last for a week or so of your cycle, but can last up to two weeks. The best way to ease breast pain caused by your period is to take painkillers and anti-inflammatories. 

Other causes of breast pain are not linked to your period. You could have sustained an injury to that area, such as falling or tripping and knocking your breast against a hard surface.

Certain contraceptive methods cause breast pain, especially the pill. You should always carefully read the leaflet of any medication you take to check what side effects you might experience. 

Conditions such as mastitis, an infection of the breast, or breast abscesses and cysts, can all cause breast pain.

If you are not taking medications that cause breast pain, you have not injured yourself in that area, and you don’t think it is caused by your period, then you should get it checked out by your doctor. 

The other common cause of breast pain in women is pregnancy. If your breasts feel tender it could be an early sign that you are pregnant, so you could do a home pregnancy test to check. 

What Is Menopause?

Menopause is part of the aging process for women when they stop producing eggs. This means that they no longer have periods and their bodies go through a lot of changes due to a drop in certain hormones. 

How Long Does Menopause Last?

Menopause usually lasts for around five years. There’s no way of telling exactly how long it will last for each woman. However, most women have their first menstrual period at age 12, and by age 50 they’ve had all their periods.

Menopause Symptoms

Menopause is a normal part of aging that affects every woman differently. It begins with a change in your monthly cycle. You may notice this change before your period stops altogether.

If you’re not sure whether you’re experiencing menopausal symptoms, ask yourself some questions: Do your periods become irregular? Are you having trouble getting pregnant? Do you feel tired and exhausted? Have you noticed any changes in your body hair, including thinning or loss? 

If you answered yes to these questions then you might be going through menopause. 

Menopause Causes

Menopause occurs because your ovaries stop making hormones. These hormones help regulate your menstrual cycle and prepare your uterus for pregnancy.

When your ovaries stop working, your hormone levels begin to fall. As your hormone levels decrease, so do your chances of becoming pregnant.

Your ovaries produce two types of hormones: estrogens and progesterone. Estrogen helps keep your reproductive organs healthy.

Progesterone helps maintain your uterine lining and prepares your body for pregnancy. During menopause, your ovaries gradually stop producing both kinds of hormones.

 What Are The Three Stages Of Menopause?

Your Breasts During Menopause

While there isn’t one specific stage of menopause, there are three stages that many women experience. They include perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.

Perimenopause Begins Before Menopause

During perimenopause, your body experiences hormonal fluctuations. Your ovaries start producing less estrogen and progesterone than usual.

This makes you more likely to get PMS (premenstrual syndrome), which includes cramps, bloating, fatigue, and depression. Perimenopause typically starts between ages 45 and 55.

Menopause Occurs After Perimenopause Ends

When your ovaries stop producing hormones, you enter menopause. Menopausal symptoms vary from person to person.

Some women don’t experience any symptoms, while others suffer from hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and sleep problems.

Most women who are going through menopause experience them for several months before they disappear completely.


After menopause, your body continues to make small amounts of estrogen and progesterone. This can cause you to continue feeling like you’re going through menopause even though you aren’t. The average length of time after menopause is about 10 years.

How To Tell Whether You’re Going Through Menopause

To tell if you’re going through menopausal symptoms, try answering these questions:

Do you have periods?

Have you been trying to conceive for a year without success?

Have you experienced any weight gain over the past few years?

Has your skin changed?

Have you started noticing thinning hair on your head?

Have you noticed decreased sexual desire?

Have you noticed increased emotional sensitivity?

Have you had difficulty sleeping at night?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be going through menopause or at least perimenopause.

Talk to your doctor about what you’re experiencing. He or she can help determine if you need treatment.

What Is Mastalgia?

Mastalgia is the medical term for breast pain. Every woman will experience breast pain at some point in their life.

Breast pain can occur at any point on the breast or nipple as well as the collarbone or the armpit. 

Breast pain is split into two categories- cyclic breast pain and non-cyclic breast pain.

Cyclic breast pain is experienced while women are still menstruating regularly – usually between the ages of 20 to 40. It tends to occur in the week before your period. 

Non-cyclic breast pain doesn’t follow any kind of pattern that is linked to your menstrual cycle.

What Happens To Your Breasts During Menopause?

There are several changes to your breasts that you could experience as you go through menopause. To begin with, your periods will become less regular. Just before your period, your breasts will have more fluid in them, and this build-up can be painful or uncomfortable. This pain will become more unpredictable as your periods become less frequent and eventually stop.

As your estrogen levels drop the glandular tissue in your breasts will shrink. Your breasts will change shape and size, feeling less dense and more fatty. Your breasts might sag and be less firm. 

They might also feel lumpy due to cysts and fibrous changes. You may also notice that your breasts lose elasticity. The news keeps getting better, right?

This means that they won’t bounce back after being squeezed. Breast tissue becomes thinner and less firm. This makes it harder to hold up your bra cups.

Unfortunately, there are some more painful symptoms associated with menopausal breast changes. Your breasts could become tender and ache often. You will likely experience breast soreness. Your nipples may be sore, cracked, red, or swollen. They may also itch or bleed. They may become sensitive to touch and may even hurt if you accidentally bump them.

What Can You Do About Breast Pain?

Your Breasts During Menopause

Breast pain can be very uncomfortable. There are things you can do to try and reduce this pain. Make sure you wear a bra that fits you properly. Try switching to a soft sports bra rather than an underwired bra. Try using pain relief creams and gels to ease soreness and discomfort.

Natural Remedies For Breast Pain

Massage – massage with the oil helps reduce swelling and pain. Make sure you use techniques to keep yourself relaxed. 

Yoga – yoga exercises help relieve stress and tension which can lead to painful breasts.

Relaxation – deep breathing, meditation, relaxation techniques can help alleviate breast pain.

Herbal remedies – herbal teas such as chamomile tea, peppermint tea, ylang-ylang tea, rosehip tea, lavender tea, and others can help soothe the nerves and ease breast pain.

Homeopathic remedies – homeopathic medicine is used to treat various health conditions including breast pain.

Breast Pain Or Muscle Strain?

Sometimes, people go to the doctor with breast pain but after an examination, the diagnosis is a muscle strain in the breast/chest/armpit area. If you are unsure whether you are suffering from breast pain or a muscle sprain, you could try treating yourself for a muscle strain and see if it helps. Take some painkillers or anti-inflammatories, or use a pain relief gel or cream. Make sure you drink plenty of water. If this works, it is likely muscle pain.

If this doesn’t work, then you should probably visit your doctor. A doctor can examine you thoroughly and rule out any other issues.

When To Seek Medical Attention

Whilst it is normal to experience changes and discomfort to your breasts during menopause, there are still some situations when you should seek medical advice.

Changes to the breast can sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer, so you shouldn’t take any chances. 

Your breasts will start to feel lumpier as you go through menopause, but a lump or an area of thickness can still be a concern. It is always best to get them checked out to make sure it is nothing serious. 

An inverted nipple is not a normal change associated with menopause. If your nipple sinks into the breast or you notice any discharge or fluid coming from the nipple then you need to get it checked.

Changes in the color or texture of the skin on the breast also need to be investigated. You could see some redness, dimples, or puckering. 

You should also ask your doctor about how frequently you should be attending mammograms.

A lot of medical experts recommend regular mammograms once you are over the age of 45 or 50. DON’T PUT OFF YOUR MAMMOGRAM!

What Other Symptoms Could You Experience During Menopause?

Changes to your breasts aren’t the only changes you could experience during menopause.

Some women notice changes in their sexual activity. Sexual intercourse could become painful. This is partially due to vaginal dryness, so you could try using lubricant. In addition, you might also find that you have a loss of libido, less sexual desire, or even sexual dysfunction. 

One of the most common symptoms of menopause is hot flashes. A lot of women experience this, though some experience cold chills instead or as well as hot flashes.

You might also notice dry, itchy eyes, which you can relieve with some eye drops. It is common to find yourself with a sore throat, headaches, back pain, and muscle aches.

This could make you feel like you have the flu, so make sure you stay hydrated and take painkillers if you need to. 

It is not unusual to find rashes on your skin that might be itchy or sore. You could try using cream to relieve it and keep the area free from beauty products that contain harsh chemicals. 

One of the symptoms that impact women’s confidence the most is hair loss and hair thinning. Whilst this is a normal part of menopause, it can still be distressing. While you can’t prevent hair loss, you can try and reduce it by keeping your hair in good health with conditioning treatments. You should also avoid heating and styling your hair as this could damage it. 

Some women going through menopause struggle with mood swings. They also experience symptoms of depression and anxiety which can affect their overall well-being. Spending time outdoors, exercising, and finding ways to relax can help to minimize these symptoms, but it depends on their severity. You might also experience problems with your memory and cognitive function. 

Going through menopause can be exhausting. Some women experience insomnia, fatigue, and other sleep problems.

This gives them less energy, which combined with an increased appetite and changes to the metabolism can result in weight gain.

Other metabolic or digestive issues could include irritable bowel syndrome.

All of these symptoms are unpleasant, but there are some more serious results of menopause.

It can lead to osteoporosis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, urinary incontinence, and other long-term illnesses and health conditions. Some side effects of these health issues could be decreased muscle mass, numbness, and tingling. The best way to combat all of these symptoms is to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get plenty of rest, and take care of yourself emotionally. 

Treatments For Menopause

There are many different types of treatments for menopause. Your healthcare provider will discuss what options are available to you.

Several medications can help treat the symptoms associated with menopause.

These include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), and progestogens.

Hormone replacement therapy can help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, irregular periods, vaginal dryness, and bone density loss.

However, it comes with risks including breast cancer and blood clots. Selective estrogen receptor modulators can be used to manage certain symptoms of menopause without causing unwanted side effects.

Progestogens are another option for treating menopausal symptoms. Progesterone is a naturally occurring female sex hormone that helps regulate menstrual cycles and prepare the body for pregnancy. It has been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and dementia.

The use of progesterone does come with its own set of risks including breakthrough bleeding, cramps, headaches, nausea, and bloating.

The information provided here is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

If you have any concerns about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional before trying anything new. 

Does Evening Primrose Oil Help With Breast Pain?

Some women take evening primrose oil to help reduce the symptoms of breast pain. Evening primrose oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids which can improve overall breast health.

You can take 3 grams of evening primrose oil per day to let it build up in your system. Within six months you should be able to notice an overall improvement in your health.

Vitamin E can also be used to aid with breast pain, particularly if it is caused by the menstrual cycle. It can also improve the symptoms of cystic breast pain. 


Menopause can affect your body in lots of different ways, including your breasts. They can change in size, appearance, texture, and can become painful. While uncomfortable, it is quite normal and is to be expected when you start to go through menopause. 

Even though breast changes and pain are a normal part of menopause, you should still keep an eye out for certain symptoms. Some changes to the breast can be a sign of other health conditions such as cancer.