How Long Do Your Breasts Stay Sore After Ovulation?

May 25, 2023
Rinnie George – May 25, 2023
How long do your breasts stay sore after ovulation

Do your breasts become sore every month? It’s very common for breasts to feel sore…

Do your breasts become sore every month? It’s very common for breasts to feel sore and achy during ovulation. For most women, the pain is minor and manageable, but some women really have a hard time dealing with it. 

Let’s see why it happens. Ovulation is a part of the menstrual cycle in which a mature egg is released from a woman’s ovaries. If the egg is not fertilized by the sperm, then it breaks down and comes out of the body in the form of period blood. If it is fertilized by the sperm, then it implants itself in the uterus in the form of an embryo and begins to grow into a baby.

Introduction to Breast Soreness During Ovulation

Breast soreness is a common symptom faced by women during their ovulation. Most women who experience this symptom have mild pain. Some women may also feel itch on their breasts. It is generally not a cause of concern and does not need any medical attention. 

Breast soreness is caused by the hormonal changes happening in the body during ovulation. Change in the levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone causes breast soreness amongst other symptoms. 

During ovulation, estrogen levels in the body increase which causes the milk ducts to enlarge. 

This can make the breasts feel fuller, heavier, and tender. 

And to make matters worse, the progesterone levels also rise during ovulation which causes the breast tissue to retain fluid. It makes them painful and causes swelling. 

Although the degree of breast soreness varies from woman to woman, most of them describe the pain as a “dull ache” and the breasts feeling heavier than usual. 

Some women may also experience sharp or shooting pains. The soreness is mostly felt in the upper and outer parts of the breasts and usually, one breast feels more painful than the other.

Before delving into detail about breast soreness let us first understand the menstrual cycle.

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle and Hormonal Changes

The menstrual cycle is a  very complex process consisting of various phases. It involves a series of hormonal changes that regulate ovulation and menstruation. Let us first guide you through a brief description of the menstrual cycle and the hormonal changes that happen during the cycle.

The menstrual cycle occurs every month in a woman’s body. It is to prepare the body for any upcoming pregnancy. It starts on the 1st day of the period and ends on the day before the next period is about to start.

The menstrual cycle is controlled by different hormones. It is divided into 4 main phases:

Menstrual Phase

The menstrual phase is the 1st phase of the menstruation cycle. For most women, the menstrual phase can last from 3-7 days. It starts on the first day of the period. 


Follicular Phase

This phase begins after the menstrual phase and lasts until ovulation. In this phase, the body prepares to release a mature egg from the ovary. The pituitary gland in the brain releases a hormone called FSH, which stimulates the ovaries to produce follicles. Each follicle contains an immature egg. The follicles release estrogen into the bloodstream, which helps to thicken the lining of the uterus in order to implant a fertilized egg. 


Ovulatory Phase

 In this phase, the ovaries release an egg into the fallopian tube. Ovulation usually occurs around day 14 of a 28-day cycle. The pituitary gland releases a hormone called LH. This sudden increase in LH hormone releases the mature egg.


Luteal Phase

This phase occurs after ovulation and lasts until the next menstrual period. During this phase, an egg travels from the ovary to your uterus. If sperm fertilizes that egg then it implants itself into the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized by the sperm then it comes out in the form of the period. The luteal phase is over when a woman gets her period

During the follicular phase, estrogen levels rise, which can cause the milk ducts in the breasts to enlarge. This can make the breasts feel fuller, heavier, and tender. Additionally, estrogen can cause cervical mucus to become thin and slippery, making it easier for sperm to swim through the cervix and reach the egg.

During the luteal phase, the progesterone levels in the body increase which causes the breast tissue to retain fluid. It can lead to swelling and discomfort in the breasts. The rise of progesterone can also cause bloating and weight gain. If the egg is fertilized by the sperm then it implants itself in the uterus and begins to form into a baby.

Why Do Breasts Become Sore During Ovulation?

As we have already discussed, breast soreness is cyclical and it happens because of the hormonal changes happening in the body during the menstrual cycle. 

factors contribute the breast soreness

Let us discuss the factors which contribute to breast soreness in detail.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes are the biggest reason for causing breast soreness. Throughout the menstrual cycle the levels of estrogen and progesterone increase and decrease which brings a lot of physical discomfort. The breasts retain fluid and cause swelling and dull aches. They also become sensitive to touch which can impact sexual activities.

Breast Size

Breast size can also play a role in breast soreness during ovulation. Women with heavier breasts experience more discomfort as compared to any other woman. They feel heaviness on their chest which can also impact their daily physical activities. 


Breastfeeding mothers can experience discomfort because of the hormonal changes that are happening in the body during the menstrual cycle. It can increase the supply of milk. Babies become fussy during oversupply as they are unable to control the amount of milk. 

Caffeine and Alcohol Consumption

Both of these substances can cause water retention, which can make the breast tissue more sensitive and painful. Women who experience breast soreness during ovulation may benefit from limiting their consumption of caffeine and alcohol.


High levels of stress are bad for our health. Stress during the menstrual cycle can cause further damage. It is always advised to eat nutritious food and practice stress-releasing techniques, especially during the menstrual cycle

How Long Does Breast Soreness Typically Last After Ovulation

The duration of breast soreness after ovulation can vary from woman to woman. For most women, the soreness lasts for 5-7 days. In rare cases, the soreness can go on for more than a week. The duration of breasts soreness depends on a lot of factors such as:

  • The intensity of the pain
  • The size of the breasts
  • Age of the woman
  • Individual hormonal balance

Breast soreness commonly begins 5-10 days before the start of periods. 

If the cause for breast soreness is hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, then it should stop once the periods begin. Once the period starts, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body return to normal. The breast tissue also decreases in size and the pain subsides. If the pain continues throughout the periods and beyond that as well, then it is recommended to consult a health care provider. 

Tips to Relieve Breast Soreness During Ovulation

For most women breast soreness does not need to be treated because the pain is manageable. But for some women, it can be bothersome and can interfere with their daily physical activities. For those women, there are some tips to relieve breast soreness:

Tips to relieve from soreness during ovulation

Wear a Supportive Bra

Wearing a well-fitted, supportive bra can help relieve breast soreness by providing extra support and reducing breast movement. A sports bra or a bra with wider straps can be particularly helpful. Don’t wear tight-fitting or under-wired bras. They can worsen matters by choking the breasts.

Apply Heat

Applying a warm compress or taking a warm shower can help ease breast soreness by increasing blood flow to the area and relaxing the muscles. You can also try using a heating pad or a hot water bottle on the affected breast.


Gentle massage of the breasts can help relieve soreness by increasing circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage. Always massage the breasts gently. Start the massage from the outer parts and move toward the inner parts of the breasts

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Consult your doctor and get a pain reliever advised by them. These pain relievers can be taken every month and do not cause any side effects in most cases. Always make sure to tell the doctor whether you are taking medicines for any other health conditions.

Reduce Caffeine Intake

 Caffeine is good as long as it is taken within the limit. Indulging in caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and energy drinks throughout the day can cause the blood vessels of the breasts to compress, reducing blood flow to the breasts.

Increase Intake of Vitamins and Minerals

Many vitamins and minerals help soothe breast pain during ovulation. Supplements such as vitamin E, magnesium, and fatty acids are particularly helpful during the menstrual cycle. You can either consume them in supplemental tablet form or you can consume them through your diet such as leafy vegetables, fish, seeds, and nuts.

Practice Stress-Reducing Techniques

Stress can exacerbate breast soreness by causing tension in the muscles. You can make yoga, pranayam, and meditation a part of your life to reduce discomfort from breast soreness.

Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco

 Alcohol and tobacco increase swelling in the body, which in turn increases breast soreness. Avoiding these substances can help reduce breast soreness and improve overall health.

When to See a Doctor for Breast Soreness

Most women deal with breast soreness on their own and they don’t need any medical attention. But in some cases, the pain and discomfort is so much that it needs medical attention. Those cases are discussed below:

when to see doctor for breats soreness

 If your breast soreness carries on for more than a week and with every cycle the pain increases, it is a sign of some serious health condition. You must visit a doctor in these conditions and get mammography done. It could be a sign of breast cancer.

Persistent or Worsening Pain

if your breast soreness carries on for more than a week and with every cycle the pain increases, it is a sign of some serious health condition. You must visit a doctor in these conditions and get mammography done. It could be a sign of breast cancer.

New Lump or Mass

if you are someone whose breast soreness lasts longer than a week, then you must always make it a habit of checking for lumps on the breast. If you notice any lump, consult your doctor right away.

Nipple Discharge

If you have nipple discharge that is not associated with breastfeeding or pregnancy, it’s important to see a doctor. Nipple discharge can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance, infection, or in rare cases, breast cancer.

Changes in Breast Size or Shape

If you notice your breasts changing shape and size, then consult your doctor. It could be a symptom of breast cancer.

History of Breast Cancer

 If you have a history of breast cancer or a family history of breast cancer, then you should consult your doctor for any minor breast soreness. Breast cancer can recur or develop in the opposite breast, even if you have undergone treatment.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Breast Soreness After Ovulation

While it will not reduce your discomfort but it can feel reassuring that you are not the only one facing breast soreness, many women are dealing with it. It is a part of the body’s natural cycle. 

Breast soreness is not a cause for concern for most women and they don’t need any medical attention, but for some, the soreness impacts their day-to-day life. By wearing a supportive bra, applying heat or cold, taking over-the-counter pain relief, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can help manage breast soreness and alleviate discomfort. Talk to your doctor about your breast concerns like breast soreness, lumps, longer discomfort from breast soreness, etc. Early detection and treatment of breast conditions can improve outcomes and prevent serious complications.


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