Heaviness in your breast usually isn’t a breast cancer symptom. The exception to this is inflammatory breast cancer. Still, it’s the least likely cause of breast heaviness.
It’s perfectly normal for your breasts to feel heavy from time to time, but it never hurts to get things checked out if you’re worried it could be something serious, speaking with a doctor will definitely help.
However, if your breasts are feeling heavier than usual, it’s probably not anything to worry about. Keep in mind that breast heaviness is rarely a sign of cancer.
Here are some of the common causes of breast heaviness.
1. Fibrocystic Breast Changes
Fibrocystic breast changes are very common. According to research, half of women experience them at some point in their lives.
This noncancerous condition can cause a variety of changes in the breasts, including the accumulation of water in the breast tissue. When your breasts swell and fill with fluid, they’ll feel heavier than usual.
These changes can happen in one or both breasts. They might occur every month at a certain point in your cycle or follow no discernable pattern. In some cases, you might have constant symptoms.
Breast pain and swelling often follow a monthly pattern that’s clearly connected to your menstrual cycle. This is known as cyclical breast pain.
In the days leading up to your period, your estrogen and progesterone levels can fluctuate dramatically. Estrogen and progesterone increase the size and number of ducts and glands in the breast. They also cause your breasts to retain water, making them heavy and tender.
Breast swelling is sometimes one of the first signs of pregnancy. Your breasts can begin to swell about one to two weeks after conception. Swelling occurs because of the hormonal changes happening in your body.
They can cause the breasts to feel heavy, achy, and tender. Your breasts might also appear larger than usual. If you have breast swelling and heaviness accompanied by a late period, then you may want to consider taking a pregnancy test.
If you’re breastfeeding, then you’re probably getting used to the feeling of full, heavy breasts and painful nipples. The feeling of fullness and heaviness can sometimes progress into a condition called engorgement. Engorgement happens when too much milk builds up in your breast. It can be very painful.
5. Medication side effects
Certain medications can cause breast-related side effects. The most common sources are hormonal medications such as birth control pills, fertility treatments, and hormone replacement therapy. Certain antidepressants have also been connected with breast symptoms.
Breast infections, known as mastitis, are most common among those who are breastfeeding. Mastitis can cause inflammation, leading to swelling and feelings of heaviness in the affected breast. It tends to happen when milk becomes stuck in the breast, allowing bacteria to grow out of control.
This can happen because of a blocked milk duct or when bacteria from your skin or your baby’s mouth enter your breast through your nipple.
However, if you are still not comfortable with your breast’s heaviness, keeping track of how your breasts feel throughout the month may also provide some peace of mind especially when you find that the heaviness seems to occur the week or so before your period.
It’s advisable to make an appointment with your doctor if the heaviness continues especially when it’s accompanied with pain either constantly or intermittently, your doctor can help figure out the cause of your pain, whether its your menstrual cycle or something else.
They can also recommend medications that will help regulate your hormones.
Culled From Healthline