How Healthy Are Your Breasts?
Pages in this Story:
- Why Your Breasts Hurt
- Culprit #1: You're about to get your period.
- Culprit #2: You've got fibrocystic breasts.
- Culprit #3: Your diet.
- Culprit #4: You're overdoing it at the gym.
- Culprit #5: Your meds.
- New Reasons to Get a Mammogram
- What to Do If You Find a Lump in Your Breast
- Straight Answers to Your Biggest Questions
Culprit #2: You've got fibrocystic breasts.
If your discomfort is accompanied by a few lumps and bumps, the cause is most likely fibrocystic changes in your breasts, which affect about 60 percent of premenopausal women, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine. You're particularly prone to this right before your period because your breasts retain water then. Some women also develop fluid-filled cysts, which may be the result of an imbalance of fatty acids within the breast cells, explains Dr. Minkin. In either case, see your ob-gyn to rule out a serious condition. For relief, try a twice-daily 500-units dose of evening primrose oil, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and fluid retention. If that doesn't work, your doctor may prescribe Danazol, a steroid derivative that blocks estrogen and progesterone.
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