Do breasts hurt during ovulation?


Your body is a wonderful creation — and understanding the mechanics of what’s going on during your cycle can better prepare you for some of the more painful symptoms you may experience, including sore breasts during ovulation. Similarly, if you’re trying to get pregnant and are on the lookout for signs or symptoms of ovulation, tender breasts are often a key one. 

Yep, on top of the menstrual cramps women feel during their period, some women also have to endure sore and tender breasts during ovulation. If you’ve noticed your breasts hurt during ovulation and you’re not sure why, keep reading… 

Do breasts hurt during ovulation?

It’s normal for your boobs to feel tender not only during your period but also in the middle of your cycle during ovulation. The pain is medically called ‘cyclical Mastalgia’ and can cause your breasts to feel heavier, tender, and fuller than usual. 

Some of the reasons behind breast tenderness during ovulation include:

  • During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which is the phase following ovulation if fertilisation doesn’t take place — it lasts roughly 14 days and finishes right before a period — there is an imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone levels. In this phase of the cycle, lower progesterone levels compared to oestrogen can cause Mastaglia and breast tenderness. 
  • Prolactin hormone secretion issues 
  • Breast pain and tenderness can occur as a result of a hormonal imbalance caused by stress 

Breasts hurt after ovulation

After ovulation, sore breasts are typically caused by the hormone progesterone and are a highly reliable indicator that you have ovulated. Your progesterone rises each day following ovulation until you either receive your period — at which point it drops — or you are pregnant. 

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Do breasts hurt during implantation?

Yes, your breasts can hurt during implantation. It may be one of the first symptoms of pregnancy due to the hormone changes in your body. 

As Dr Christine Catling Director of Midwifery Studies at UTS explains, “Implantation is when the fertilised egg successfully reaches the uterus and attaches itself to the uterine wall. Fertilisation happened nearly a week ago and your little egg has mustered all of its strength to travel the entirety of the fallopian tube to your uterus. Once this has successfully attached itself to the uterine wall, your egg is set up to start rapidly growing. The act of implantation doesn’t happen for nearly 7–14 days after you’ve had sex and this is the official time that you’re considered pregnant. 

“In general, you will have next to no clue when implantation has occurred. There will likely be no feeling at all, so steer clear from analysing every slight cramp in your abdomen during this time,” Christine adds. 

Some typical side effects that might have you suspecting you’re pregnant could be: 

Why do my nipples hurt during ovulation?

The levels of estrogen and the luteinising hormone are higher before ovulation. Some people experience breast pain when estrogen stimulates breast tissue. 

Progesterone levels rise and oestrogen levels fall shortly after ovulation. These changes in progesterone levels might cause breast discomfort or sore nipples in some people.

Progesterone levels will increase if a woman gets pregnant. Nipples or breasts may become sore as a result of the hormonal changes happening to breast tissue.

Sore and sensitive nipples are also often the first signs and symptoms of early pregnancy.

What is ovulation? 

Women are born with millions of immature eggs in their ovaries, which are released throughout their life. Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary and moves down into the fallopian tube. For most healthy women, this process occurs once a month, 14 days before their period. The egg can survive in the fallopian tube anywhere between 12 to 24 hours. If the egg is not fertilised with sperm, it is released and becomes a woman’s period. 

Signs and symptoms of ovulation 

Breast tenderness during ovulation can accompany several other symptoms, including: 

  • Discharge 
  • Your basal body temperature (BTT) increases 
  • Bloating and abdominal pains 
  • Headaches and nausea can often be a side effect of changes in estrogen and progesterone levels

While breast tenderness can be uncomfortable, it will only hang around temporarily during your cycle. If possible, opt for wire-free bras or gentle sports bras during the more painful periods of your cycle.

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