What Causes Breast Tenderness?

Q:  I used to get premenstrual symptoms every month, usually cramps and breast tenderness, but lately, although I still get my periods, they are coming without any symptoms like I used to get (breast tenderness, painful cramps). Do you know what this could mean?

A:  Breast tenderness usually occurs when the level of progesterone is higher than that of oestrogen, as happens in the luteal phase or last half of your cycle.  Your oestrogen:progesterone ratio may be closer than in the past.

Higher levels of prostaglandins are thought to cause more cramping than in women with lower levels of prostaglandins.  Otherwise it could be that you blood is thinner and you are forming less menstrual clots than in the past and this requires your uterus to contract less.

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