What are the causes of sensitive breasts

Having sensitive or painful breasts will occur with every woman at least once a lifetime. How much discomfort a woman has depends per person. Painful breast can have radical consequences. The first thought will be that it is breast cancer when having these complaints, but there are many other explanations why these symptoms can occur. Sometimes it is related to menstruation problems as after ovulation progesterone will be made to reduce the effect of estrogen. But also other reasons can result in sensitive breasts. In some cases the pain can be so intense that it is impossible to lie on the stomach or wearing a bra. What can be the causes of sensitive or painful breasts and how can it be helped?


Estrogen and progesterone

Progesterone has a tempering effect on the hormone estrogen. If the body makes insufficient progesterone the influence of estrogen grows resulting in more breast tissue. Normally estrogen ensures that the female characteristics are in good shape and quality, preventing that testosterone (male hormone) takes the overhand. After ovulation the progesterone level rises somewhat to ensure good quality of the uterus. Next to that estrogen provides good blood circulation for the uterus. The combination gives a fertilized egg the possibility to nestle so the woman can get pregnant. If nestling doesn't happen within 27 days the uterus mucous membrane will be renewed. The progesterone levels drop so that the period with its bleeding will start. Having too much estrogen leads to continuous breast stimulation with painful results. Also the period will be abnormal.


Young girls and hormone therapy

A regularly occurring phenomenon is that pubescent girls have painful breasts. High concentrations of estrogen stimulate quick growth of the female figure. Painful complications can be enhanced due to early start of the period. There can be a hormonal imbalance due to the fact that the body of the pubescent girl is in transition and grows. Sometimes a girl needs to have hormone therapy to ensure that the body will grow normally. This can also result in painful symptoms.


Medical treatment

If a girl or woman has had breast surgery it can also result in pain or high sensitivity. If the tissue within the breast has high adhesion with surrounding tissue or when inner scars haven’t healed properly it can give unusual breast sensation. Think about enlarging the breasts with implants. Nowadays it has been found that some implants aren't of good quality due to which it can break and leak. If you have undergone breast enlargement resulting in sensitive or painful breasts it is necessary having it medically checked.


Stress and oil

If you have a lot of stress at work or anxiety it can result in sensitive breasts. Your complete body is too tense due to which the lactic acid levels will rise. This gives additional pain, cramps and fatigue in several parts of the body. If you use specific oils to smear on your skin it also can have a negative influence. Think about linseed oil which consists of linolenic acid. This acid works the same way as lactic acid resulting in the same symptoms.



When sensitive or painful breasts are accompanied with knobs then additional alertness is necessary. It is always important to quickly have a medical checkup. If suspected breast cancer is diagnosed in an early stage the treatment can give good results. If you haven’t your period, aren't pregnant but feel knobs in the breast you must go visit your general practitioner immediately. This also is the case for men as they also can get a tumor in their breast sometimes resulting in bleeding.



When a fertilized egg nestles in the uterus hormone activity will change. Especially the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG hormone level will rise quickly. To test if a woman is pregnant the HCG levels can be checked in order to confirm it. Due to the change of hormone levels including progesterone and estrogen the breasts can feel strange or are painful for some time. Next to this the breasts will grow due to activation of milk glands.


Advice what to do

It is always important that the breasts have sufficient support. If they grow due to puberty or pregnancy you will need to wear a good bra-size. If the size is too big or too small it can influence the sensitivity greatly. Don’t drink too much coffee as it will raise the blood pressure. It is advisable to drink rooibos (red-bush) tea as it lowers the blood pressure and has a relaxing effect. You can use it to de-stress resulting in a good night’s rest. Also massaging the breasts with special oil (non-linseed) makes them more flexible. If you keep having painful symptoms you should visit your general practitioner for further advise.