Q. Suddenly my nipples are swollen and boobs are tender. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Sanjay Kumar Bhattacharyya
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on May 07, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jun 18, 2019

Hello doctor,

Just as of today my nipples have got swollen and my boobs are tender to touch. It started less than an hour ago. I had headache all day. As far as I am aware, I am not sure what is going on? I never had this issue before. Please help.

Dr. Sanjay Kumar Bhattacharyya

Obstetrics And Gynaecology
#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

A swollen nipple as well as tender breasts can occur if you are just before your cycle. If so, it is quite normal. It is due to the temporary hormonal fluctuation inside you. Otherwise, taking hormonal contraceptive pills could be a reason. Hard sex with rough handling of your breasts is another issue.

Just apply some hot compress over your breasts and put them in tight undergarments all the time. If the pain is more, you can avail Paracetamol 500 mg tablets as and when necessary basis.

For further doubts consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online -->https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/obstetrician-and-gynaecologist

Frequently Asked Questions


1.

Why Do My Nipples Hurt?

Nipple pain can be due to either normal physiological or because of some disease condition. The normal conditions involve pregnancy, breastfeeding, premenstrual syndrome, periods, poor fitting or tight clothes, sexual activity. The pathological conditions are skin conditions (eczema or dermatitis), mastitis, yeast infection of breast, breast cancer, paget’s disease.

2.

What causes swollen nipples in females?

The swelling is common and normal during periods, pregnancy, breastfeeding or while using oral contraceptives, or exposure to cold or stimulation. The other condition that causes swelling and needs doctor’s attention include mastitis, breast cancer.

3.

Can swollen nipples be a sign of pregnancy?

Yes, due to the hormonal changes, the nipples are swollen. Also, for future breastfeeding to the baby.

4.

How do you get rid of swollen and sore breasts?

The treatment depends on the underlying cause. If it is due to hormonal, you can take pain relievers like Ibuprofen, Paracetamol for symptomatic relief. For infection, appropriate antibiotics. For breast cancer, the doctor will guide you accordingly.
Apart from this, you can do the following:
Maintain hygiene.
Wear proper fitting or supportive bra.
Place a heat or cold pack covered by cloth over the breasts for relief.

5.

Can stress cause swollen breasts?

Yes, it can. Especially if you have lumpy or fibrocystic breasts, the stress can aggravate the pain due to hormonal changes.

6.

What does it mean if my breasts are tender?

Tender breasts are mostly physiological as due to hormonal changes like menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, stress. Sometimes, this can indicate infection, cancer, cysts or any underlying pathological causes.

7.

Can swollen nipples be a sign of breast cancer?

Yes, any irregularly swelling of single breast or sometimes both can be a sign of breast cancer and needs an evaluation from a physician.

8.

Sore breasts in pregnancy

Due to the increase in progesterone level, the breasts may feel tender, sensitive, full and heavy. This can begin within one to two weeks of conception.

9.

Sore breasts in menopause

Due to fluctuation in hormones, the breasts feel sore (burning or throbbing pain) and once the periods stop completely, the breast pain should also gradually reduce. Taking hormonal therapy may, however, cause pain

10.

Sore breasts before period

Due to an increase in progesterone levels a week before period, the milk ducts expand. THis causes soreness in the breast.

11.

Sore breasts but not pregnant.

Pain in the breast can be physiological (pregnancy, periods) but if you are not pregnant and the pain is different along with other breast changes, it is advisable to meet your physician for a check-up. It can be due to infection, cancer or other pathological changes.

12.

Breast sore to touch in one spot.

Most commonly it is found in cases of poor fitting bra. Some other causes include pregnancy, muscle strain or injury. Sometimes, it may also indicate breast cancer (noncyclical).

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