Reasons Why You Have Sore Breasts

Sore breasts or breast tenderness can be a common concern, and there are numerous reasons why this might happen. For instance, pregnancy, puberty, menstruation, menopause, breastfeeding, and wearing the wrong size bra are most likely to cause sore breasts.

Reasons You Have Sore Breasts

To help you understand better, we’ll explore the most common causes. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt or the pain is severe, it’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional.

Hormonal Fluctuations


During puberty, girls experience significant hormonal changes, which can lead to breast development and tenderness. This is a normal part of growth and usually balances out as puberty progresses.

Menstrual Cycle

For many women, breast soreness is tied to their menstrual cycle. This is because, during your cycle, hormone levels fluctuate. Especially in the days leading up to your period, these changes can cause your breasts to feel tender or swollen. Usually, this discomfort fades as your period begins.


While breastfeeding, your breasts can become sore due to various factors such as engorgement, improper latching by the baby, or even infections like mastitis.


In early pregnancy, hormonal changes can also make your breasts sore. This is because your body is preparing for milk production. The soreness can start as early as one or two weeks after conception.


As you approach menopause, hormonal fluctuations can again play a role. During this time, many women experience breast tenderness.

Lifestyle Factors

Reasons You Have Sore Breasts

Caffeine Intake

Interestingly, too much caffeine can sometimes lead to breast soreness. If you consume a lot of caffeine and have sore breasts, try cutting back to see if it helps.


If you’ve recently started a new exercise regimen or intensified your workouts, this might be the reason for breast soreness. Particularly, exercises that strain the chest muscles can cause discomfort that feels like it’s in the breast.

Wearing the Wrong Size Bra

Wearing a bra that doesn’t provide adequate support, especially during physical activity, can lead to sore breasts. Ensure your bras fit well and offer the support you need.

Medical Conditions

Fibrocystic Breasts

This condition, characterized by lumpy, tender breasts, is quite common. It’s not dangerous but can cause considerable discomfort. The lumps are benign and can often feel more prominent and sensitive before your period.


Infections, such as mastitis, can cause breast pain. Mastitis is more common in breastfeeding mothers and can make the breast feel sore, swollen, and warm, often accompanied by fever.


Certain medications, including some types of hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy, can cause breast tenderness as a side effect.

What You Can Do

Monitor Your Cycle

If you think your breast soreness is related to your menstrual cycle, tracking your cycle can help confirm this. You might notice a pattern that aligns with your menstrual phases.

Adjust Lifestyle Factors

Consider reducing caffeine intake or ensuring you’re wearing the right bra, especially during exercise. Also, gentle breast massages can sometimes provide relief.

Consult a Healthcare Professional

If you’re concerned about breast soreness, especially if the pain is severe, persistent, or accompanies other symptoms like a lump, nipple discharge, or changes in breast skin, it’s important to seek medical advice.


Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage discomfort. Applying warm or cold compresses might also provide relief.

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