Tender, painful and swollen breasts

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Hi, I haven't posted in the menopause discussion group for some time because i thought mine was probably over and done with. However, for the last 2 weeks I have had sore, painful and slightly swollen breasts. I usually get this before my period (the last few periods beings around 6 months apart and my last period was 189 days ago), but no period has started as yet. My other menopausal symptoms have included vaginal dryness, exhaustion, night sweats and hot flushes but these all stopped a few months ago, which is why i felt perhaps it was all over. But now the tender breasts - i know that swollen and painful boobs are a symptom of perimenopause, but i have never had this symptom before - is it possible for a new symptom to appear after all this time (i started perimenopause in 2013)? Can painful boobs be a menopause swan song? I know swollen and painful breasts happen in early pregnancy too, so i did a test just in case and i am not pregnant (i would be very surprised if I was at this stage of life - I am 53 - although hubby and i do have regular unprotected intercourse (he withdraws before ejaculation because i found condoms uncomfortable with the vaginal dryness)).

So, my question really is - has anyone else experienced swollen and tender breasts late on in perimenopause when they have not experienced them before in perimenopause?

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  • Posted

    morning iv had very lumpy, tender and extremely painful boobs for years and iam now 7yrs post hysterectomy iam still peri but this year even the gp sent me for a mammogram as he found 3 lumps in 1 boob and 2 in the other but all ok even the dr at the breast care clinic told me the soreness and lumps are part of the menopause and dont expect it to get any better soon it could even get worse, he told me to try evening primrose oil tablets they work for some but not all so iv gone to wearing a soft sports bra for the first time in my life i have quite big boobs and hate how flat they look as iv always had wired bras but after 2 months in these bras the pain has halved so give it a go and good luck, big hugs x

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    • Posted

      hi ladies,

      i absolutely agree with Claire, im suffering with very tender breasts at the minute. Im also getting very itchy legs and ankles.....my GP has started me on elleste 2mg . sweats are worse and i cant remember the ladt time i had a good nights sleep.

      i reitterate claires words....a sports bra has been my saviour. I have rather large breasts and love the way they are tbh and a sports bra kind of makes me appear flat but its much less painful without an underwired bra.

      for the record im a 40H but with the soreness and swelling im spilling out of my normal bras

      hugs x

      Diane xx

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies Claire and Diane. I don't think i have quite the same problems as you ladies because my boobs have always been small (34 A) and i have never worn underwire bras, just seamless t-shirt bras. In fact, most of the time i wear no bra as i never really needed the support. I am finding that, now, with the swelling and tenderness, the support and protection from wearing a bar helps - if i am not wearing one it is very painful when a boob gets knocked and I have to hold my boobs when i walk down stairs because the bouncing hurts!

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  • Posted

    I think with Perimenopause and menopause anything goes. I have a friend who never had sore breasts until her 50's when she started missing her periods. I my self have had them pretty much my whole menstruating life give or take a few months and also with my pregnancies, so for me it is nothing new. Just keep in mind it is not abnormal for perimenopausal women to get pregnant, I think a lot of women think once they start to skip periods or miss a few they are free of becoming pregnant and that is not true, in fact hormones are all over the place and its like they are saying if you soon want to have a baby you better hurry up...(that is how my gynocologist said it). Just because you husband withdraws doesn't mean that there isn't some sneaky ones that got in before hand. If you bought a test and it is not positive then likely it is hormonal thing. If it lasts too long just go and talk to your doctor to make sure everything is okay.

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  • Posted

    Don't rule out that you could just be having another period on its way since you say they have been six months apart. I went to 11 months with no period and completely did not pick up on any of the signals. Sore breasts, crying non stop over nothing, moody, crazy libido arrived out of nowhere (!), clear discharge, hungry all the time, and boom there was a period all totally normal like I was back in my 30's. Lasted 6 days and gone again.

    So, I wouldn't worry too much and assume a period will come at some point. πŸ˜‰

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    • Posted

      I'm not worried, just assumed that it was a menopause thing or period is on its way, although 2-3 of breast pain and still no period. I was just interested to hear other's experiences.

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  • Posted

    Hi Suki!!

    I haven't posted anything in a while either bc I thought I finally had it under control, how foolish was that thought? lol

    I haven't had a uterus, cervix or tubes since 2001, but I still have my ovaries. I started the meno journey in 2017 at least that's when symptoms started showing, vaginally. Already did the hot flashes and night sweats several years ago, alas they are back since I started the estrace cream. I get breast tenderness and swelling and oddly enough itching, it can last hours to days, but when that happens I also cramp but I have no uterus so I'm thinking its my ovaries, I've mentioned it to the gyno several times and she doesn't seem to think it means anything. πŸ™„ I wonder if yours are tender bc you're trying to or are ovulating? My mother in law had no period for almost 2 yrs when she got pregnant with my ex hubby, she was 51 🀯. Maybe you could track whatever symptoms you're having with the breast pain and see if there's a pattern.

    You were such a huge help when I was agonizing over the use vagifem or estrace cream, as well as several others.. I was doing great until a few months ago and my insurance decided that they would only pay for the generic estrace cream and I've totally did a back slide. I'm back to all the burning, swelling, bladder issues etc. I'm at my wits end. I tried switching to the vagifem but it gives me horrible leg cramps. Coconut oil helps a tad bit but feeling like my insides are trying to escape thru my vagina with the prolapse, I'm miserable. I have zero energy and no interest in anything besides being left alone. My docs won't do a hormone test to see if my ovaries have finally tanked or not, they just tell me I'm post menopause bc of no periods since 2001 but I don't think that's an accurate way to dx me since it was surgical and not "natural". I'm so over all of this! I hope you can figure out why you're having these issues!

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    • Posted

      Hi Gigi,

      I would track the pattern if there was one! Honestly, perimenopause has been a complete random experience. First of all periods all over the place - anything from 18 to 40 days and very very heavy, then gradually getting further and further apart. I had 9 months with no period once and thought, great, this is it, it's over, but no, at around 9 months i flippin' had a period. Just standing there on the beach in the summer in my shorts with my kids and boom that old feeling of something oozing out; long trek to the beach toilet; luckily i had some emergency pads in my bag for my teenage daughter; had to borrow my daughter's knickers and she spent the rest of the day commando (luckily we are the same size). Then they were regular, every 28 days, like text book regular - what the .....! Now every 6 months and sometimes I have a headache and breast pain before, sometimes they start out of the blue. Night sweats and hot flushes have stopped and restarted 3 times! Make up your mind ovaries! Are you done or not?!?! But I realise i have had it fairly easy compared to some women - so pleased i havent had the anxiety and mood swings - its hard enough coping with my hubbies mood swings, if i had them too we'd definitely be divorced by now!

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    • Posted

      Mood swings lol.. I get on my own nerves most days πŸ˜‚

      I have a panic and anxiety disorder diagnosed in my 20s, I've been battling it my whole life but finally got a "name" for it, been on meds since.. a bit over 30 years so I cant blame meno for it but it definitely doesn't help..

      I had a fibroid tumor about the size of a softball (found when I was 20 and pregnant with my son, thought he was a twin at first) and it was causing me to hemorrhage, never had normal periods, so I wouldn't know normal if someone smacked me in the face with it LOL!

      Night sweats, hot flashes, fuzzy head, dizziness, vision problems, hair thinning, AV with bladder prolapse, breast pain, joint pain, swollen feet and ankles, strange tingles, weight gain, insomnia, lethargic.. and they say I'm post meno, seems to me its peri, since all this started 2 yrs ago, or maybe because I'm getting older I'm just noticing, I'll be 51 this month.. bah! And what I'm experiencing isn't squat compared to a lot of women..

      It's still bitterly cold here, right now its 18 degrees and expecting more snow today but it feels good to me while everyone else is praying for 90 lol.

      Hopefully your new symptoms will pass quickly!! I don't think it matters how mild or severe our symptoms are, this whole process stinks!!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Gigi, well after a month of painful boobs the pain subsided a few days ago. Then yesterday morning I got period cramps and started bleeding, but it is such s tiny amount of blood only seen when i wipes after doing a pee - the ovaries' swan song? I hope so! But does it count as a period? Do I have to reset the clock for the 1 year count down before I can have unprotected sex? I was told by my dr that it would probably be ok, that I can't be very fertile now at 53. But stories like yours about your mother in law make me cautious. And reading again - your mother in law got pregnant with your ex hubby?!?!?!

      I am so please that I was able to help you with your vagifem / estrace cream dilema and so sorry to hear that you have lost what worked for you. Are you in the US? Here in the UK was use ovestin cream, avaiable on prescription, which is estriol, which is particularly good at tackling vaginal atrophy, dryness and urinary symptoms. It does frustrate me that different treatments are available in different countries when we have a global economy. How are things for you now?

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    • Posted

      Suki

      Maybe my ex mother in law was just an odd ball getting pregnant that age, I don't know. I never really got on with her very well, so having meaningful conversations was absent, I have no idea if she was still having a monthly flow or not. I know if that were me I'd have been in the loony bin lol. I was done having kids at 21 and had my tubes tied! I haven't had a period since 2001 so I really have no idea if spotting will put you back to the count down again. Most of my friends are still having regular on time periods, a few of them are close to 55 but are showing all peri signs.

      Maybe get an over the counter ovulation test and see what it says? Better safe than sorry, considering, in my opinion, the majority of doctors have no clue and go by text books instead of actually doing studies, especially since people are living longer now days.

      I'm in the US and if I want ovestin, I have to go to a compounding pharmacy and insurance wont cover it, and it's impossible to get a gyno to write a script for it. I've upped my dosage back to 1 gram 3 times a week instead of a half gram 2x a week, its helped but I loved the name brand, it worked perfect, but the US is a pusher of generics. I bought a pelvic floor exorcising device (I know we're not allowed to put links and such on here so PM me if you wanna know the name of it), and I'm actually feeling like it's working. It has different levels that you build up to and it tracks your progress and increases the exercise as your kegels get stronger. It also stimulates blood flow to the vaginal tissues which I've read is a must for good tissue. I've been using it for about a week so far and my bladder feels better, the heavy feeling is easing up. When I was going to pelvic floor PT, my therapist suggested it bc I couldn't afford 3x a week going to PT. As for libido, ha! What's that? My doc said she could give me a testosterone patch but I don't need a mustache lolol. Because of my history with fibroids, and heart issues, and family history of breast cancer, progesterone is out of the question along with oral hormones. I don't have pain during or after sex but we have a fairly new med for that, it's a vaginal non-estrogen treatment for moderate to severe painful sex due to menopause.. but I cant get estriol 😐. As for everything else, I'd just rather stay in a cocoon.. I'm tired of feeling exhausted and can't sleep and when I do it's in spurts and I wake up drenched in sweat. I'm hoping it starts warming up soon, maybe being outside will help.

      Let me know how you're coming along!!

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    • Posted

      I haven't got a device but i have been doing pelvic floor exercises for 6 years. Originally every day, now once a week. Lots of women think they need testosterone, but that must have side effects. Meno has already given me mustache and beard hairs that i have to pluck everyday!

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  • Posted

    I can relate.

    I am going through this very thing. I am post menopause. I haven't had a period for 17 months. I still get symptoms. Though not to the degree as in peri. I have breast pain ache. It started in my right breast, then both were sore, and now my left breast bothers me. My nipples were a bit sore today and my breast feel "heavy" feeling. I worried so much that I had a 3D diagnostic mammogram and a thorough breast exam. It came back normal. I also get night sweats, vaginal dryness and an occasional hot flashes.

    Symptoms don't go away completely for many of us post menopausal women. They just aren't as frequent. Hormones still fluctuate albeit not as much. My FSH was 86.4 in Feb of 2018 about 5 months after my last period. Feb of this year it was 78.4 about 17 months after last period. I had uterine and ovary pain/ ache last year and had an ultrasound. My ovaries were/are shrinking (like they are supposed to). I call it shriveling up, lol. My Gyn had an my have another ultrasound 4 months later to confirm. I also have a very small cyst in my uterus that may or may not have been what was bothering me when I was "going through the final change" as my aunts and mom called it. I just had all my hormones checked and will again at the end of this year.

    Post menopause does not mean symptom free unfortunately.

    Hang in there, you aren't alone.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Keljo. Something very odd is happening to my body right now - still got the breast pain but this morning i have lots of discharge, not nasty discharge, just loads of healthy, clear gloopy vaginal fluid - its just running out of me and down my legs (i dont wear knickers at home, just baggy jogging bottoms). I am usually fairly dry and have been using vaginal estrogen cream for a couple of years. But today i am juicier that i have ever been. I thought I'd started my period but when i looked it was normal clear discharge, just loads of it. As i was looking i felt more coming down and put my hand under to catch a handful of the stuff!!! Have you ever experienced this?

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    • Posted

      Not to that degree, but I have had ample clear discharge at times in the past where I could feel it, but not to the point of having to catching it, no. But it was weird just the same for me. Clear is good in my opinion πŸ˜ƒ.

      I don't use estrogen cream, HRT, or BHRT. My dryness goes in waves now. I use a product called vmagic cream when I get dry and irritated. It works.

      My progesterone is .28 they haven't got my estrogen results back. I am going to call about that in the morning. testosterone 16.00.

      My GP diagnosed me a few years back with vaginal atrophy. She prescribed me some estrogen cream. I didn't use it regularly. I think I tried it and didn't like it. I am very sensitive in that area and am leery of anything making it worse instead of better.

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