How to Relieve Fibrocystic Breast Pain Naturally

Close up of a bra clasp coming undone
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Are your breasts hurting? You're not alone. More than half of women experience what's known as fibrocystic breast changes – breasts composed of tissue that feels lumpy – at some point in their lives, usually just before menstruation. It's so common, in fact, that doctors quit using the term "fibrocystic breast disease" and instead refer to "fibrocystic breasts" or "fibrocystic breast changes" because fibrocystic breasts is a condition, not a disease. In fact, it's a benign condition that shouldn't be confused with breast cancer.

Diagnosing Your Breast Pain

But just because fibrocystic breasts are normal doesn't mean you should have to live with the pain, tenderness, and lumpiness. If the pain is ongoing, or you notice new areas of lumps or thickening that persist after your period, see your doctor. She will examine you to see if the new changes are concerning and to eliminate other causes.

If, however, you experience what's known as "cyclic pain" (meaning the pain is related to your menstrual cycle, beginning in the two weeks leading up to the start of your period, then easing up afterward), try an at-home remedy.

Tips for Reducing Your Breast Pain Naturally

Here are eight natural ways to relieve fibrocystic breast pain:

  1. Cut back on caffeine. Not just the usual suspects—like coffee, tea, and soda—but also chocolate. Although studies looking at caffeine's effect on breast pain and other premenstrual symptoms have been inconclusive, many women report relief from going no- and low-caf. Reducing sugar may also help reduce overall symptoms.
  2. Watch the fat in your diet. Cutting back may reduce the discomfort associated with fibrocystic breasts.
  3. Decrease sources of estrogen from your diet such as commercially raised meats which contain excessive amounts of hormones.
  4. Try natural progesterone cream. Applying 15 to 20 mg per day from ovulation until a day or two before your period returns usually results in normal breast tissue in three to four months. Once you have achieved relief of symptoms gradually taper your dose until you find your lowest effective dose.
  5. Supplement your diet with vitamins. Taking 400 IU to 600 IU of vitamin E per day may reduce symptoms associated with fibrocystic breast changes. Other vitamin suggestions include Vitamin B6, B-complex, and magnesium.
  1. Be sure your everyday bra fits properly. Choose a style that offers the right amount of support. If it's too tight or the cup is too small, the underwire may be pushing against your breasts, so that by the end of the day your breasts can feel downright tender. Visit a local department store with a bra-fitting specialist for a proper fit.
  2. Get plenty of support at the gym. All the bouncing around you do during a workout can do a number on breast tissue if you aren't wearing a good sports bra. Pick a style that supports without digging in or causing spill over. (To test the fit: jump around in the dressing room to make sure you're getting the support you need.) Consider buying an extra one to wear to bed at night during periods when your breasts are extra sensitive.
  3. Use a heating pad or warm water bottle. It may help relieve your discomfort.
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