Breast Changes in Peri-menopause & Menopause
Written by Dr Laila Kaikavoosi
Like almost every part of our body, our breasts are also affected by hormonal fluctuations in years leading to i.e perimenopause and the menopause itself.
The common breast changes a woman can experience are:
💜 Lumpy Breasts 💜
Some women have lumpy breasts and that’s normal for them. Lumps can be caused by cysts which are fluid filled sacs. They generally feel soft, similar to touching a bunch of grapes. They’re usually painless and don’t increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Fibroadenoma, more commonly known as breast mouse, is another common cause for lumpy breasts. This usually feels tender to touch with a rubbery feel. It’s called a breast mouse as it is freely mobile to touch and doesn’t feel stuck. They also don’t increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
It is so important for women to get in the habit of examining their breasts. That way, any new lumps or a change in size or feel of an existing lump can be reported to her doctor.
It’s also very important not to ignore lumps. If you’re not sure or you just want some reassurance, please see your doctor and have your breasts examined.
💜 Painful, tender breasts 💜
With significant hormonal variations during perimenopause and menopause, breasts can become more tender and painful. This could be due to increase in fluid retention in breast tissue, an increase in the size of existing cysts or variations in the size if the breasts.
💜 Changes to size and shape of breasts 💜
This is a very common experience in women going through the perimenopause and menopause stage.
Breasts can feel less full and more sagging. With reduction in estrogen levels and glandular tissue, they become less dense. Also, there is reduction in the tone of the muscles, underneath the breasts, which are supporting them.
Alternatively, some women experience a noticeable increase in their breast size after the menopause. This could be as a result of the weight gain during this stage or the changes to the ratio of different tissues in breast like fat cells and collagen.