Sore and Painful Breasts

I am 16 years old and have had my period since I was 13. Ever since I can remember, my breasts have always become very sore and swollen before my period. Lately, it has been getting even more painful, to the point where it hurts too walk. I am only an A/B cup, yet it hurts so much. Just raising an arm makes me feel the pain. What can I do about this, and what is causing this besides my period?

About the only thing you can yourself do is try to limit the factors which contribute to water retention. Namely, limit salt, caffeine in your diet and alcohol (unlikely in your age). The severity of your complaint indicates that this will unlikely be enough.

The goal of the menstrual cycle is to release an ovum or egg from your ovary. This requires hormonal stimulation. All the eggs you will ever have were there when you were born. Therefore, at this point in your life, they are all pretty new. To stimulate even one of them to release may take quite a bit of hormones. So, you may have an extra amount of these hormones around pre-menstrually. The body is always trying to achieve what is called homeostasis. This means not too much or not too little of anything. So your body will try to change all the extra female hormones into something else to lessen the excess. Your problem occurs because the female hormones are chemically very similar to other biochemical agents in your body that effect water regulation. The body lessens the amount of the excess female hormone by changing it into a substance that regulates water retention.

You do not seem to have PMS, (as the S stands for syndrome, or several symptoms associated with pre-menstruation). Still, you have one symptom that is so severe that you might warrant medical treatment. A mild diuretic or "water pill" can be prescribed by your doctor. Common ones are called Spironolactone and bromocriptine. Don't try over-the-counter water pills, these usually have caffeine which has an immediate effect of eliminating water, but then causes worse retention. Also the use of hormonal therapy (i.e. birth control pills) can give relief in resistant cases.

Is this amount of pain abnormal because it seems terribly excessive? Well, normal and excessive are two different things. Your body and your hormones will change throughout the reproductive part of your life. As more of your eggs mature are exposed to hormones over time, they will not require the large added amounts to release an egg each month. It is likely you will "outgrow" this as your body matures.

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