Swollen Symptoms of a Different Sign

Dear Bailey,
During my last period one of my breasts became swollen and tender. I’m not pregnant so is there something wrong with me?

No, there is nothing wrong with you. This is completely normal and it is fairly common. One or both breasts will become heavy and tender before or during a woman’s menstrual cycle. This is called fibrocystic breast change. They are believed to be caused by all those crazy hormones that are telling your body to “get milk ready for a pregnancy!” (This is just because an egg is passing through the fallopian tube, not because you actually are.) These symptoms can also fluctuate throughout time.

Sometimes the breast may have lumps which are not always a sign of breast cancer especially when they appear only during this time. They do make it difficult to detect a lump that may be breast cancer so self examination shortly after your menstrual cycle is a good idea. This is not a diagnosis and if you have a major concern about it you should see a doctor.

To help with the painful symptoms try taking a pain pill or buy a bra with more support for those oh-so special days. If that doesn’t work talk to your doctor about diet changes. Getting on birth control may help as well.

Bailey/Advice columnist
Bailey can be reached at linfieldreviewbailey@gmail.com.

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