Menopause & Tender Breasts

Updated November 21, 2016

Perimenopause, the period of time leading up to the final cessation of your menses, which is menopause, is fraught with hormonal issues. Oestrogen can be too high or too low. Progesterone starts disappearing when a woman stops ovulating, and testosterone can get too high, which results in hair growth on a woman's face and body, a deepening of her voice and male-pattern baldness. When oestrogen gets too high, this can result in tender breasts, which is more likely to occur during perimenopause than in menopause, when oestrogen levels are normally low. Progesterone can also have an impact on your breasts.


Women who are fully menopausal, which means you have gone a full year since your last menstrual period, and are still experiencing breast tenderness this can be attributed to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), if you are taking it. HRT, just like oral contraceptives, contains synthetic hormones, including oestrogen and progesterone. Oestrogen, whether it's the real stuff or the synthetic version, makes breast tissue increase in size, which makes your breasts hurt, while progesterone causes a woman to retain water. The weight gain from water will stretch the tissues in the breasts and make them hurt. In addition, if a woman takes heart medications, cholesterol-lowering medicines, some antidepressants, or psychiatric medicines in conjunction with HRT, this will increase the chances of experiencing breast pain, according to


Water retention can be a real problem for perimenopausal and menopausal women, causing great discomfort and breast tenderness and soreness, according to, which explains that the cells in our body are cloaked in water. Additionally, the cells are surrounded by water. Sodium, the kidneys and hormones determine how much water (fluid) there is.

When there is too much salt (sodium) in your body this make the blood thirsty and water is drawn from the cells to try to dilute the blood. This will make you even thirstier and you will drink more water or fluids and this makes your water retention even worse.

Other Possibilities

Post middle-aged women are apt to develop fibrocystic breasts, which are egged on by hormones. This condition is not cancerous but it can make your breasts feel lumpy, sore and tender. Cysts are capable of developing in your bosom due to fluctuating hormones. Fluid-filled lumps, which are the cysts, crop up and are probably very noticeable right before your period if you are perimenopausal and still menstruating. Your breasts can become very sore.

What Can Happen

The tissue in your breasts can overgrow, according to Women' When this occurs, this is considered fibrosis. Normally, breasts ducts drain secretions; however, when these ducts become blocked this results in cysts. It is quite common for this to happen to perimenopausal and menopausal women because of the imbalance of hormones at this time in a woman's life.


Visit your doctor if breast soreness and tenderness is a real issue for you. Those on HRT should consider a lower dosage. Those on oral contraceptives should also see if a lower dosage will eliminate some, if not all, of your breast pain. Eating foods such as watermelon, tea, corn, grapes, cucumber and asparagus will get you get rid of excess fluid. Vitamin B6 and vitamin C reportedly increase fluid output, according to

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.