How to Reduce Breast Pain Before Periods

You’re probably no stranger to your PMS symptoms. In fact, you might even be a total pro in not letting PMS rule your life. But something commonly experienced – and often overlooked – is temporary swelling of boobs, and the soreness that come with it.

Here’s how you can reduce the pre-period breast pain.

What is the cause of premenstrual breast pain?

Premenstrual breast pain can occur up to 10 days before your period begins – in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. During this time, your hormones are on a rollercoaster ride; progesterone and oestrogen increasing all over the place. The change in these hormone levels can affect soreness and cause swollen glands, which can also contribute to sore boobs.

Your water retention capacity is high during PMS too, which can increase the size of your breasts and make your bra feel tighter.

Everyone experiences PMS differently, but premenstrual breast pain can feel achy or tender.

Ways to reduce breast pain

Wear a different bra

You’d be surprised by how many people day-to-day wear the wrong sized bra! If possible, try and get a fitting – especially if you have larger breasts – and opt for non-wired, softer shaped bras. We’re also big advocates of ditching the bra entirely if that’s a comfortable option for you!

Check your caffeine intake

Reducing your caffeine intake is helpful for PMS generally but has also been associated with preventing sore boobs. Although it’s unclear exactly how significantly caffeine affects breast pain, cutting down generally can help with cramping.

Use hot and cold gel packs

Using gel packs or compresses can help to relieve pain or swelling, which might help to reduce breast pain.

Switch up your diet

There are many different foods to eat that can help cramps, but as a general rule; drink more water, choose calcium rich foods, reduce your salt and sugar intake, limit your alcohol consumption, and be mindful of the types of fat you eat.


Finding the time to de-stress or relax during PMS is crucial for reducing the impact of other symptoms, including premenstrual breast pain.

Pain relief

Taking ibuprofen in intervals can help to relieve PMS pain and cramps, as well as reduce menstrual bleeding.

When to see a doctor

Premenstrual breast pain is usually more of a general discomfort than it is severe. Some other symptoms to look out for include:

  • New or changing breast lumps
  • Lumps occurring in only one breast
  • Breast pain that interferes with your everyday tasks or sleep
  • Discharge from the nipple; particularly if brown or bloody

If you’re experiencing any of the above, and sore boobs even before your period is going to begin, then it might not be cyclical breast pain. We recommend booking in to see a healthcare professional to evaluate your situation.

Is hunger a common PMS symptom for you too? Check out how to deal with hunger before your period here.

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