Very sore breasts

by Catherine

I have quite bad breast swelling/tenderness before my period, which has been ongoing since I was a teenager. I am now 32 and it has gotten worse in the last 5 or so years. I take Evening Primrose Oil twice a day, which was effective at first, but after a few months my body seems to have become immune to it.

I am not on the contraceptive pill and also take a Vit E and a Fish oil and a Calcium/Magnesium/Vit D tablet every day (I started taking the last one recently as I think winter has left me Vit D deficient.)

The last two cycles my breast swelling started 2 weeks before my period and is really painful. I also have a bit of spotting in the 3-4 days before the period starts. Once it does start, I do not have that much bleeding, and it is mostly brown. It is also over within 3 days. It seems that the shorter my period, the worse the symptoms beforehand were.

I also get a period headache just before and after and sometimes sleeplessness beforehand. But the thing that drives me to despair is the breast tenderness.

Based on reading a lot of the comments on your site, I think I am low in progesterone. The main worry I have about trying progesterone cream is making the breast tenderness worse, as I have read several people's comments saying that this was the case.
I am wondering if there is an ideal way to use the cream (dosage, frequency etc) in order to get rid of this particular symptom?


Comments for Very sore breasts

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Oct 27, 2012
Very sore breasts
by: Wray

Hi Catherine The symptoms you get just prior to your period, are due to progesterone withdrawal leaving oestrogen dominant. All symptoms, be it sore breasts, headaches, depression etc, can get worse using progesterone. But only if too little is used. This stimulates oestrogen, increasing the severity of symptoms. There's more info on our Oestrogen Dominance page. It's essential to use enough progesterone to prevent this. I'm pleased you're taking vitamin D, the minimum dose should be 5000iu's per day. The amount you're taking is probably in the region of 400iu's, possibly 600iu's? For more info on vitamin D levels, test kits etc see the Vitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth and Birmingham Hospital. Blood levels should be 70-100ng/ml (175-250nmol/L) and not the 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) most labs and doctors regard as adequate. The minimum daily dose should be 5000iu's per day, although recent research indicates it should be 10,000iu's per day, see here. I generally recommend 100-200mg/day progesterone, but it does depend on symptoms. We have two pages on breasts, see Breast Tenderness and Breast Cysts. It sounds as if you are deficient in progesterone, but you could need iodine too. A lack of this also causes sore breasts. It's best to rub some of the cream directly on the breasts. It should be used a minimum of twice a day too. The two pages I've given you have more info too. Take care Wray

Oct 28, 2012
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your advice, I will try the cream at that dose and see what happens...

Nov 17, 2013
Vit. D vs progesterone
by: Anonymous

Apologies for the necro-post, but I second the Vitamin D recommendation. I had a shortening luteal phase plus gained two (very sore) cup sizes before my cycle. The bleeding itself was also shortened, as you describe. Also, I had terrible anxiety and panic. Turns out my Vitamin D was at 17 - too low to make sufficient progesterone. Took 3 months of supplementing with 50k IU/week to get it barely over 50. Once it was up there, my symptoms all disappeared and I felt a whole lot better.

I just had my D tested because I was getting Pamela Anderson's breasts again and it's down to 26 already and it's not even winter yet. I'll be starting 50k IU/week of D3 (with K2) supplementation again under my MD's watchful eye. Hopefully this winter will be better than last year.

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