It’s natural to feel concerned when you notice changes in your breasts. But rest assured, breast changes are a normal part of female anatomy.
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’s the lowdown on some of the more common culprits behind breast heaviness.
1. Fibrocystic breast changes
Fibrocystic breast changes are very common. According to the Mayo Clinic, half of womenexperience 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.
Other common symptoms of fibrocystic breast changes include:
- free-moving lumps
- pain or tenderness that’s often worse right before your period
- pain that extends into your armpit or down your arm
- the appearance or disappearance of lumps or lumps that change size
- green or brown nipple discharge
As cysts appear and disappear in your breasts, they can cause a scarring and thickening of the breast tissue, called fibrosis (fibrosis). You can’t see these changes, but they can make your breasts feel lumpy or heavier than they used to.
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.
These types of cyclical breast changes usually affect both breasts. Symptoms may get progressively worse in the two weeks leading up to your period, and then disappear.
You may notice:
- swelling and heaviness
- a heavy, dull, and aching pain
- lumpy breast tissue
- pain that radiates to the armpit or outside the breast