Breast tenderness is definitely a common complaint amongst women- particularly around the time when our menstrual periods start and our hormones are raging. But is breast pain one of the ovulation symptoms? Do breasts hurt during ovulation?
In this article, you will find the answers to those questions and more:
- Can Ovulation Cause Breast Pain (Mastalgia) and Sore Nipples?
- 4 Causes of Breast Pain During Ovulation
- How Common is Breast Pain During Ovulation?
- How Long Does Breast Pain During Ovulation Last?
- How Can I Treat Breast Pain During Ovulation?
- What are the Other Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation?
- Other Causes of Breast Pain During Ovulation
Can Ovulation Cause Breast Pain (Mastalgia) and Sore Nipples?
If you find that you are experiencing breast pain and nipple soreness during the middle of your menstrual cycle, it may be due to ovulation.
Symptoms of Breast Pain During Ovulation
Symptoms of breast pain during ovulation may include:
- Swollen breasts
- Dull, achy pain in the breasts
- Pain in and around one or both nipples
- Breast sensitivity
- Nipple sensitivity
- Sensitivity in your underarms
During ovulation, women experience a lot of fluctuations in hormones. These hormones are responsible for the breast pain, and other symptoms, you experience during ovulation. But which hormones cause breast pain during ovulation?
4 Causes of Breast Pain During Ovulation
During ovulation, there are five main fertility hormones involved in successfully controlling each step of ovulation: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen and progesterone.
The fluctuations in these fertility hormones can cause mastalgia (breast pain) during ovulation.
Progesterone and Estrogen Imbalance
In terms of hormones, the imbalance in progesterone levels and estrogen levels during ovulation- or a rise in estrogen- may cause breast pain.
A Drop in Estrogen Levels
Shortly after ovulation is over, progesterone levels rise and, at the same time, the estrogen levels drop. The increase in progesterone levels, combined with the drop in estrogen, may cause breast pain or sore nipples.
Whilst breast pain is almost always caused by hormonal changes, there can be other causes of breast pain during ovulation. Other causes of breast pain during ovulation can include:
- Stress (which can cause hormonal imbalances)
- Hormone prolactin abnormalities.
How Common is Breast Pain During Ovulation?
Breast soreness is considered a secondary symptom of ovulation- meaning it is one of the less common signs of ovulation (less common than the primary signs of ovulation, such as cervical mucus changes).
How Long Does Breast Pain During Ovulation Last?
Breast pain caused by ovulation will typically last for a maximum of 5-6 days- including the few days prior to ovulation, the day of ovulation, and potentially the day after ovulation.
How Can I Treat Breast Pain During Ovulation?
Immediate Pain Relief
Breast pain during ovulation can be rather uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are a few actions you can take to relieve breast pain:
- Reduce your caffeine intake around ovulation
- Take on a low-fat diet
- Take anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen)
- Wear a supportive bra
Treating cyclical Breast Pain
If you are experiencing breast pain at around the same time every cycle, you should consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor may prescribe you the following treatments:
- Changing your birth control pills
- Prescribing birth control pills or hormone blockers
- Hormone therapy
- Prescription pain relief
What are the Other Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation?
We have discussed that breast pain is one of the ovulation symptoms– experienced by some women during ovulation- but what other symptoms may be a sign of ovulation?
Cervical Mucus Changes
Paying attention to the changes in your vaginal discharge can tell you a lot about your reproductive health, and what stage of the menstrual cycle your body may be going through at that time. The changes in vaginal discharge are one of the natural family planning indicators which women use to determine when they may be ovulating, to help them plan intercourse with their partner to successfully conceive. This method is called the Cervical Mucus Method.
During ovulation, you will experience a discharge called “egg white cervical mucus”. Egg white cervical mucus indicates that you are due to ovulate soon and that you are currently experiencing your fertile window. Egg white discharge can be described in the following ways:
- Clear in colour
- Stretchy and slippery in texture
- Consistency of raw egg whites
Rise in Basal Body Temperature
Many women who are trying to conceive use Basal Body Temperature (BBT) charting as a method of natural family planning. Ovulation is indicated by a small increase in basal body temperature. By charting your basal body temperature- or resting temperature- at the same time every day (usually in the morning) throughout your menstrual cycle, you will be able to pinpoint when ovulation occurs. Your basal body temperature can also drop as part of your normal menstrual cycle. Do you know when? Read our article “When Does BBT Drop If Not Pregnant?” to find out.
Ovulation pain- or Mittelschmerz (derived from the German words for “middle” and “pain”)- is the one-sided lower abdominal or pelvic pain that is experienced during ovulation. Ovulation pain can be described as a dull ache or sharp stabbing pain. You may find that your ovulation pain alternates between sides from cycle to cycle- corresponding to whichever side the egg was released from.
Increased Sexual Desire
Increased libido or sexual desire is a common symptom of ovulation- with all of your crazy raging hormones- and the fact that your peak fertile days occur in the days surrounding ovulation- it is no wonder that you experience this symptom.
During ovulation, your cervix moves higher up into your body- which is the more ideal position for sex and becoming pregnant. Since ovulation, and the days surrounding it, are when you are most fertile, cervical fluids are secreted which soften the cervix. These cervical fluids create the perfect environment for sperm to survive, increasing your chances of conception.
Other Causes of Breast Pain During Ovulation
Whilst breast pain is usually not a cause for concern, it may indicate the following:
- Breast cancer
- Pregnancy (Breast pain is one of the common early pregnancy symptoms)
- Wearing an incorrectly fitted bra
- Skin conditions
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Certain medications
Hi, I’m Louise- mum of one to a little boy called Mason.
I am the Digital Marketing and Admin Assistant for MyBump2Baby.
I enjoy working to provide excellent service to MyBump2Baby’s growing families.
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