Many women experience tender breasts at some point in their life. It can be caused by many reasons, the majority being of a hormonal nature. When we experience tender breasts, we are typically talking about breasts that feel sore when you touch them or move around, feel heavier or feel fuller. Tender breasts are most often an indication of pregnancy, but can also be a sign that you are in ovulation. Further complicating the matter, tender breasts can also be a symptom of PMS.
Since pregnancy, ovulation and PMS all trigger the release of hormones into the body; all three conditions can affect your breasts. In order to find out which of these conditions are causing your breast tenderness, you must take into account other symptoms, the type of soreness you are experiencing and also the timing of your period.
Ovulation will most often cause pain or soreness on the sides of your breasts. If pregnancy is the condition affecting your breasts, then they will have a strong sensation of fullness or heaviness. This pain would also be felt throughout the entire breast and not just on the sides. In some women, tenderness or soreness in the breasts can be the very first symptoms they experience of pregnancy. However, this is not a reliable way to tell that you’re pregnant, as breast tenderness can be caused by other reasons. If you suspect that you’re pregnant and are feeling breast tenderness, be sure to see a doctor.
Other changes in the breasts can also be an indicator of one of these conditions. For women that are pregnant, the color of their areola and the surrounding nipple tissue may show a change in color or tone. Again, a color change in this area is typically only found in women who are pregnant. The size of the areola can also be an indication of pregnancy as pregnancy can sometimes cause the veins in the chest to become larger and more pronounced. All of these changes are a sign of pregnancy, not ovulation or PMS. If you experience any of these external changes, you can assume that ovulation is not the condition you are experiencing.
If a woman is trying to get pregnant, she will want to know when she is ovulating. You can monitor your body temperature and cervix to get a more clear indication of when ovulation occurs for you. Other indicators can include changes in the texture or color of cervical mucous, abdominal pain and an increased sex drive. Many women start ovulating at about the half way point through their menstrual cycle. This point typically occurs from a few days to a week or more after the last day of her period. The ovulation cycle can be quite varied from woman to woman, so checking other indicators is important for accuracy in detecting ovulation.
There are also ovulation prediction tests now available which can help you to predict your ovulation. These tests are quite inexpensive and will test you for a particular type of hormone which surges during the prior day or so before ovulation starts. Using a test like this can vastly improve the accuracy of your ovulation predictions.
Many women experience breast pain or tenderness from PMS, which typically happens in the days leading up to the start of their period. A good indicator of PMS being the issue that is causing your breast tenderness is the timing of your period. This is why it’s always good to keep track of your period. There are actually smartphone applications available that can help you easily keep track of your period and even ovulation. You’ll be able to make a note of any pain you are experiencing, moodiness or any other issues. Knowing all of these things can be very helpful in diagnosing the reason behind your breast tenderness.
Pregnancy is a common cause of breast tenderness, but just because you have breast tenderness, doesn’t mean you can automatically assume that you are pregnant. There are many more indicators, including some typical early indicators that can give you an idea that you’re pregnant. These signs can include increased frequency of urination, abdominal cramps, back pain, moodiness, aversion to certain types of foods, increase sensitivity to odors and high basal temperature. When pregnancy occurs, the body is flooded with hormones, which can cause all of the above symptoms as well as tender breasts.
Though pregnancy, ovulation and PMS are the most common causes of breast tenderness, they are not the only causes. In fact, in teenage boys and girls, the start of puberty can cause breast tenderness. Breastfeeding can also cause this type of breast pain and discomfort. Women who are nearing menopause can also experience breast tenderness or pain.
No matter the reason you think you are experiencing breast tenderness, be sure to talk to your doctor if you notice anything unusual or new occurring with your body.