Perimenopause/hormonal breast changes - frightened about checking even

Hi. I last posted on this site about 5 years ago when I started to experience near constant pain in my right breast - I had been suffering from it for around 6months when I finally plucked up the courage to go and see my GP who sent me for a mammogram. All turned out to be fine and I was given no explanation for the pain other than a leaflet that explained different types of breast pain.

So, recently I have started to experience pain again in the same breast. Sometimes it is just in the upper quadrant and other times in just the nipple itself. It can come and go during the day. I am 45 and am experiencing other symptoms that I have been putting down to the start of perimenopause (night sweats, difficulty sleeping, nausea, slightly irregular flow periods to what I have been used to) but am wondering if this pain could be linked to changing hormones now rather than cancer. Would pain associated with breast cancer materialize in different parts of the breast at different times? Surely it would always be in the same area? I never have pain in the other breast.

Just so you are aware, I had a bit of a health scare in 2016 when they tried to find what they thought was an internal bleed somewhere leading to lack of iron in my body) which left me with significant health anxiety (panic attacks etc) - I’ve never been particularly good at being unwell and it has all impacted me to the point where I cannot even check my breasts for fear of finding a lump (although I do do visual checks).


Hi Rachel,

Having just completed perimenopause and now into full menopause I can tell you that breast pain can certainly be due to to hormone changes. I had pain in my left side, it came and went though over the cycle (the cycle was erratic by this point and could be as short as 8 days or as long as 60 days). Breast tenderness/pain is a listed symptom of perimenopause and menopause, due to the messing around of Oestrogen and Progesterone and can strike some women quite strongly.

The difficulty about being in your position is that you don’t have a base-line for ‘normal’ from monthly breast examinations. So, even if you did do a check now, unless there was something really obvious, it would be hard for you to know if there had been changes. Having HA makes it hard to be logical about aspects of self-care, I understand, but it does sound like it might be a good idea to get a quick once over from the surgery nurse or a GP as they would know what they were looking for/feeling for. I wonder also if its worth discussing with them some way to help you to make it possible to do manual checks ? Any early changes are so treatable and its better to not hide your head in the sand about it - when it could make such a massive difference to you to know early. As someone with HA , could you rationalise that it would be a massive positive to find something early rather than how scary it would be to find it late ? Breast awareness is so important, particularly the older people get.

The drill is that any breast changes should be checked and whilst I agree it doesn’t sound sinister that its a pain that comes and goes and seems to move around the breast - you’ll surely feel so much better in yourself having a quite ‘all clear’ from the surgery. It wouldn’t be sensible to just assume that its hormonal changes causing benign pain. You’ve been here before, you know that odd pains can occur, and you were courageous enough last time to go and seek and opinion - time for another one :slightly_smiling_face:

Hello:  I am glad I found this forum! I post menopause about 2 years since last period. I am having burning pain in my left breast top and outer side towards the arm, my entire body feels hot! The breast also feels heavy! I was thinking the worst! Freaking out about it! I have a mamogram on Monday and I am hopping  everything turns out OK. Is good to know this happens to other women too! And is due to hormones. I will try the vitamin E. Thank you ladies.