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Why do my breasts feel tender and painful?

Breast pain is very common. It affects around two out of three pre-menopausal women at some point.

There are two types of breast pain. Cyclical pain is associated with a woman’s periods, and usually happens for a week or so before a period. Non-cyclical pain can occur at any time, and can be there all the time. You can have pain in one or both breasts and you may describe it as a burning, prickling or stabbing feeling.

There are practical things you can do to relieve breast pain, and drug treatments are available too. Find out more about breast pain and what can help.

You could also try filling in a pain chart (you can find one in our Breast pain booklet) to record when you get pain and how long it lasts for. It’s a useful record to show to your GP.

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Content last reviewed August 2014; next planned review 2016

Last edited:

26 August 2014