Why are my breasts very sensitive and sore? Causes, treatment, prevention

Megan Smith
 min read

Why are my breasts very sensitive and sore?

Why are my breasts very sensitive and sore? CausesThere could be a number of reasons why, and most of them can be resolved with some good old common sense.

Are you curious why you sometimes suffer from sore, sensitive breasts?

In this article, we will look for the causes so that you, as a woman, will know how to guard against them.

Why are my breasts very sensitive and sore? Introduction

Unfortunately, having sore or sensitive breasts is an annoying and common complaint of countless women.

Sometimes the pain can even be so severe that you can be quite distracted from your daily activities.

Yet many women keep this to themselves as it is quite an intimate subject. Often the pain is very annoying but harmless.

Read on and find out how to ease your breast pain too.

Breast pain is a little different than pain in the chest. So this article is not about heart disease.

Complaints from sore, sensitive breasts

Painful, sensitive breasts are common in women. Nearly 3 quarters of ladies suffer from it at one time or another.

The problem occurs mainly in women between the ages of 27 and 55.

You may experience tight, swollen or heavy breasts. The pain can be nagging, sharp and burning.

You may also feel intense stitches and cramps, and your breasts may feel tight, stiff or hard.

In addition, you may experience itching, sensitive nipples, pain near or in your armpit, swollen glands (lumps) and muscle pain.

You experience this in one or both breasts, but it may also involve only a part of your breast where you have pain and discomfort.

Taking off your bra can be a relief but it is also possible that you only then experience severe pain.

It can be especially disturbing at night and keep you from a good night’s sleep as it is difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.

When you suffer from breast pain, you often prefer not to have anyone touch you there.

So it is important to explain to your partner when and why you have these symptoms and how he or she can deal with them.

Why are my breasts very sensitive and sore? Causes of sensitive, sore breasts

Pain in your breasts is called mastodynia. It is an umbrella term for a range of symptoms in which breast pain is a major symptom.

Despite being very annoying, the condition and associated symptoms are often harmless.


A vein infection or arthritis in your breast area, or Mondor’s disease (an inflamed breast vein) can indirectly cause sensitive or sore breasts.

You can also suffer from breast inflammation (mastitis) after giving birth, which can also be accompanied by an infection.

Hormonal fluctuations

It starts when you reach puberty as a girl. When your breasts begin to grow, they may be sore and sensitive.

Hormones are rearing their heads, causing changes in the glandular tissue of your breasts.

Pain during your menstrual cycle is called cyclic pain.

Often the pain starts a few days before your period and subsides after you get your period or a few days after.

You may also experience symptoms during ovulation due to the increase in your hormone levels.

Did you know that medical procedures and medications can also cause sensitive and sore breasts?

Hormone treatments, medical procedures (e.g., removal of the uterus), (medications for) a slow thyroid, and antidepressants all affect your hormones.

Large breasts

Overly large breasts can be the cause of physical complaints.

It can be a strain on your back, neck and shoulders, and in the process it can reduce blood flow.

Because of the weight, your breasts may also be sore and sensitive.

Especially during sports, your breasts can hurt a lot. The right sports bra is an absolute must in any case.

Are you looking for a well-fitting bra for large breasts? Find out here what are the best bras for large breasts.


Stress and tension cause your muscles to cramp and you may experience sore, sensitive breasts.

Stress also disrupts your hormones under the influence of neurotransmitters such as adrenaline.


Cold can be a cause of sore, sensitive breasts and can sometimes exacerbate existing pain.

Temperature differences in particular can cause complaints. Think of situations like stepping into a cold shower or walking into a room where there is air conditioning.


A too-tight bra increases the temperature of your breast tissue. It restricts the flow of lymph fluid, allowing waste products to accumulate.

So actually, wearing a bra is not always healthy, especially not when you wear a bra that does not fit your breasts.

Do you have stretch marks in your skin after taking off your lingerie? Then your bra is too small.

Are you just comfortable at home? Then it’s not a crazy idea to not wear a bra. Also, don’t wear a bra at all at night.


About half of all women experience breast pain during or after exercise, especially with high-intensity sports.

In many cases, this is independent of the size of your breasts.

A good supportive sports bra is extremely important when exercising. A good sports bra will keep your breasts in place and is less likely to cause symptoms.

Why are my breasts very sensitive and sore?

Breast Cancer

In most cases, there is no reason to immediately think of breast cancer if you are experiencing painful, sensitive breasts.

However, it is obviously very important to recognize breast cancer at an early stage.

This cancer doesn’t necessary have pain a symptom.

Self-examination can help you detect breast cancer early.

If you feel a hardening or lump, you would do well to see your doctor and a specialist for further investigation.

If you feel a lump, it does not always immediately mean it is cancer.

It may also be a cyst (fluid vesicle) or tissue nodule (a hardened piece of glandular or connective tissue in the breast).

These nodules can be either benign or malignant.

Breast cancer involves the growth of malignant cells in your breast. You may discover a hard lump and/or observe a change in your nipple, such as skin tightening or discoloration.

Despite not being common, breast cancer can also be detected through pain. Usually the pain is localized, in one of the two breasts.

Have you done self-examination and have doubts about a lump? Then stop reading and go to your doctor.


Being overweight can also lead to heavier breasts. So when you lose weight, your pain may decrease.

Leave out products with added sugars and fats and make the switch to high-fiber foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals.

In addition, try to exercise at least 35 minutes daily.

Why are my breasts very sensitive and sore? Tips for sensitive, aching breasts

It is very annoying to suffer from sensitive and painful breasts.

Fortunately, there are actions to take to reduce the likelihood of symptoms. Here are 3 interesting tips.

Pay attention to your nutrition

Eat foods that contribute to good hormone balance. Limit the intake of (fast) sugars and processed products.

Instead, eat plenty of high-fiber foods and drink plenty of water.

A lack of iodine can also cause more pain. So eat lots of iodine-rich foods like seaweed and unsaturated fatty acids like those found in olive oil.

Don’t drink too much coffee and avoid alcohol if possible, especially if you already suffer from hormonal fluctuations.

Stimulate blood flow

A warm shower or hot bath or a warm pitcher can relieve your pain. A sauna visit is also good for your circulation, as is a gentle chest massage with oil.

Wear the right bra

Countless women wear a bra in the wrong size which does not give their breasts enough support.

In addition, a too-tight bra increases the temperature of your breast tissue, making your breasts more sensitive.

Hormonal changes cause your breasts to change constantly, which doesn’t make it easy to purchase a good bra.

Purchasing a new bra is best done just before your period.

In fact, your breasts tend to be slightly larger then. You know you’ll have some slack if you buy a bra right before you start menstruating.

Did you know that right before your period, your breasts can be as much as a cup size larger than during the rest of your cycle? It’s all hormones.

For info on how to choose a sports bra in particular, you can check our other post How to pick the right sports bra: Things to keep in mind

Why are my breasts very sensitive and sore? Conclusion

Hormonal changes, ill-fitting bras and sports bras and the wrong diet can all result in sensitive and sore breasts.

It is rare that breast cancer causes pain, but if you’re feeling a lump, or anything else to alarm you, then go to your doctor.

RelatedHow to wash bras without ruining them? Tips and advice

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More