Handling breast pains

WHAT IS MASTALGIA?

Breast pain, also called mastalgia, is a major issue amongst women. Affecting two out of three women, mastalgia remains one of the major reasons why women consult doctors. Yet, breast issues largely remain undiagnosed and unattended to, because of fear, social stigma, unawareness amongst women and lacking facilities especially in the Indian context, where women either fail to report their problems or delay reporting their case. A large chunk of cases become complicated even before reaching the doctor, since women try home remedies for their problem before reporting it to a medical specialist.


IDENTIFYING MASTALGIA

Breast pain occurs in various forms and may differ in intensity and character in women. Generally, mastalgia appears as a dull, aching pain diffused through the entire breast (one sided or bilateral). In some, it occurs as a burning-stinging feeling in the breasts while in others, it may come as a drawing, dragging and pulling sensation.

AETIOLOGY

Breast pain is categorized into two broad forms- Cyclical and non-cyclical.

Cyclical breast pain occurs periodically and is associated with menstrual cycles of the woman. It occurs due to fluctuation in the level of female hormones ( oestrogen and progesterone) throughout the menstrual cycle.

Non-cyclical breast pain has a varied aetiology and different explanations. It occurs in early stages of pregnancy, lactation period, and as an effect of hormonal replacement therapy. Pathological causes include cysts, fibroadenoma, tumors etc.

MANAGING MY BREAST PAIN

In case you are noticing breast pains at every menstrual period, you are likely suffering from cyclical mastalgia.

Expect spontaneous remission soon after menstruation ceases. Other measures include :-

  • Wear a supportive brassiere.
  • Avoid nicotine and caffeine.
  • Maintain optimal fluid intake during periods.
  • Regular yogasanas and adequate relaxation helps alleviate stress and anxiety about mastalgia.
  • Increase the consumption of fruits and decrease fried and fatty foods.
  • Gentle massage with lukewarm oil may help in certain cases.

Stay tuned for details on breast pain..

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