Here’s What You Should Know

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Changes In Breast As Per Age: Here’s What You Should Know

Breast cancer is one of most prevalent cancers in women. With the changing lifestyles, it has now become extremely common in younger women too. Where it is important to know about the signs of breast cancer and ways to deal with this deadly disease, it is equally important to know about the normal breast changes that may happen during different phases of life. Swollen breasts, tenderness and irritation around the nipples might be some of the common signs of breast cancer but can also be an indication of certain changes taking place in your body. From breast tenderness to re breasts let us take a quick look at some of the normal breast changes that take place during different stages of your life with Dr. Divya Vora, Obstetrician-Gynecologist. 

#1. Before or during your Periods

Periods does not mean blood stream flowing through your vagina as the inner lining of the uterus but has a lot more to it. With premenstrual syndrome kicking in and fluctuation in hormonal levels taking place, there are various things that come along with your regular cycle. When it comes to the breasts, one might experience a bit of swelling along with the feeling of tenderness and pain. One might also feel a lump or two in the breast region during this time. This happens as the estrogen hormone is on its peak during this time that leads to enlargement of ducts. Apart from this the change in levels of progesterone hormone causes the enlargement of lobules. 

As such changes take place in your breasts around your periods, it is always advised to do a self breast examination about 5-7 days after your periods to know the exact situation of your breasts. 

#2. During Pregnancy

Image Credits- Complete Physio

Also Read: Factors That Might Affect Your IVF Success Rate, Explains Doctor

Where an increasing size of belly is quite a noticeable change that occurs in a woman;s body during pregnancy, that is not the only change. A woman’s body undergoes various changes during the course of her pregnancy and chances can be observed in her breasts as well. As there is a change in hormonal levels and other changes going on in your body, one might experience lumps in the breasts due to the growth of milk ducts or the milk producing glands that tend to increase in number and size. Hormones have an important role to play in pregnancy and in redying the breasts for lactation. 

#3. While breastfeeding

Breastfeeding or nursing is an activity of feeding your newborn child with breast milk. This practice is advised for a newborn baby till the age of 6 months by many healthcare professionals as it provides the ideal nutrition for the infants. It can be easily digested by the baby and consists of an antibody formula which helps the baby to fight the infection causing viruses and bacterias. As a mother breastfeeds, she might feel a blockage in the mastits or the milk ducts which makes them look warm and red along with causing pain. Where it is not a sign of breast cancer but is still a serious and painful condition that requires immediate medical assistance in the form of medication and in some cases in the form of a surgery as well. 

#4. When on Hormonal Therapy

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal therapy or hormone therapy is said to be a kind of treatment used to stop or slow down the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Cancer cells consist of receptors that are connected to estrogen and progesterone that helps them to grow. A hormonal therapy is used to stop these hormones from attaching to the receptors. Due to this therapy your breasts tend to become more dense and makes it harder to interpret the mammogram.

#5. While approaching menopause

This stage is termed as the premenopausal or the menopausal transition stage. Many women tend to notice the signs of progression towards menopause and menstrual irregularities as the aproach the age of 40. As a woman approaches this stage of her life, many changes occur in her body such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, irregular periods, weight gain, sleep issues, chills, mood changes, night sweats, etc. Along with all these changes, the breasts also experience certain changes due to the change in hormonal levels of the body. One might feel tenderness in breasts along with the lump even when not on their periods. 

#6. After menopause

Image Credits- She Knows

Postmenupausal stage can be interpreted as a stage when a woman hasn’t had her periods for over a year. This is a stage followed by menopause which tends to lower the estrogen levels of the body and the possibility of getting pregnant tends to diminish. In this stage a woman might experience hot flashes, postmenupausal syndrome and menopausal depression. As the menstruation and ovulation cycle ends at this stage, the hormonal levels of the body drops as well. This drop in hormonal levels results in the feeling of lump and breast tenderness. 

(This article is based upon a post by Dr. Divya Vora, Obstetrician-Gynecologist a.k.a thegirldocnextdoor on her instagram handle)

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