Breast tissue is very sensitive to oestrogen, having a lot of oestrogen receptor sites in them, so when it starts to fall, it can have an effect on the size, shape and structure.
The most common symptom that happens during menopause is tenderness and discomfort, and as well as changes in shape, they can start to sag, losing their pertness, or shrink. For those who are already small-breasted, this can hit their confidence. The reason this can happen is because of the strength of the connective tissue that’s affected by falling oestrogen, so strength and firmness begin to decrease. In some other cases, breasts can actually grow in size, which some women find great news! But for those already large-breasted, it can cause shoulder, neck or back pain and can change the appearance of the shape of the body as a whole, affecting how we feel.
Lumpy breasts is another possibility. Of course, if this happens, get it checked out immediately. Clear your mind of worry and you’ll probably discover that it’s just the factor that affects you most once oestrogen has decreased. It could be you always had lumpy breasts, but didn’t notice until your breasts shrunk a little.
Itchy breasts! So, skin can get thinner, more sensitive to materials, to soap powder and conditioners, or they may itch because you’ve perspired 500 times that day! Keeping our breasts in our bras for hours on end can result in skin getting red and raw. A great help for this would be to get measured for the correct size of bra, particularly as the shape and size may have changed. And getting the correct-fitting bra can make a really positive difference to your figure and the way you feel about your body. Department stores mostly do this for free.
There may be nipple tenderness. During perimenopause, oestrogen can go sky-high and suddenly drop and this sudden change can really affect the nipples, making them sore and tender. There may be a discharge or inversion, and if you notice this, please get checked out. It’s like that there’s no problem at all, but it will stop your mind over-thinking.
What to do? Dehydration is something to look at. Our breasts are like sponges and when we’re dehydrated, which we often are during menopause, the body wants to hold onto water as much as possible. One of the places it’ll hang on hardest is the breast, so if they swell and become hard and sore, this is very often dehydration, so have plenty of water every day.
Chest and upper body exercises are important, especially if you’re at a desk a lot. It works the back, upper arms and upper chest. So things like press-ups against the wall, pushing the heels of the hands together in front of you (like a prayer) can make your breasts more comfortable as the supporting tissue becomes stronger.
The overriding piece of advice here is if you are worried about anything to do with your breasts, i.e. change of shape, dimpling, inverted nipples, any changes, please, get to the dox immediately. Alleviate the worry and carry on!
It’s all about you lovelies; you’re worth excellent self-care ?