Featured in Stylist: Why are my boobs so sore before my period?


There are many reasons why your boobs might feel heavy or painful, and hormones are just one. Here’s our guide to what’s causing your breast tenderness, and what you can do to help relieve your symptoms.

Officially known as ‘mastalgia’, breast pain and tenderness are common. Those of us who have boobs know the drill: a week or so before our period, our boobs seem to swell up and feel dull, heavy and achy.

Usually, this will pass once our menstrual cycle starts over – but it’s not unusual to experience symptoms at other times of the month too.

We asked GP and lifestyle doctor Lafina Diamandis for the lowdown on what’s going on, how to cope with symptoms and when we should be getting things checked out.

What are the main causes of sore boobs?

Mastalgia will affect most women and people with breasts at some point in their lives. It’s usually mild and short-lived, but it can occasionally be more severe and can have an impact on quality of life.

“Generally speaking, we can split breast pain into cyclical and non-cyclical causes,” explains Dr Diamandis. “Cyclical breast pain is linked to the reproductive hormones or periods and the fluctuating levels of these hormones throughout the menstrual cycle.

“Non-cyclical breast pain is not related to your cycle and there can be many causes including cysts, pregnancy, musculoskeletal injuries and, less commonly, breast cancer.”

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