October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and there is no better time to learn about the health of your breasts and what is causing your breast size to change. It is extremely important to speak with a doctor if you notice your breasts looking or feeling different for no apparent reason. Now, there is no need to panic just yet because there are many harmless circumstances that can explain why you may be experiencing some changes in your breast size, and they’re quite common as well. Most women will have changes in their breasts during their lifetime, and here are some of the most common reasons as to why your breasts change sizes at different times throughout your week, month or life.
Natural Aging Process
Since many changes in breast size relate to a shift in hormones, it makes complete sense that you may experience some changes as you age. As women get older, the breast tissue becomes less dense, which can result in many changes such as size, feel and even the overall structure of your breasts may become different.
It is extremely common for breasts to become more swollen, tender or even painful before or during your period. You may even feel some lumps in your breasts during this time because of the extra fluid that occurs within the tissue. While the changes typically go away on their own at the end of your period, it is important to speak with a health care provider if the lumps remain post menstruation.
Your body experiences many changes during pregnancy, and your breasts tend to be the culprit as they are preparing to produce milk. Often times, moms-to-be will feel like their breasts are lumpy and this is a result of the glands increasing in numbers and getting larger to start the milk production process. These should subside post pregnancy.
Some women that are breastfeeding experience mastitis, which is a condition where a milk duct becomes blocked. As a result, your breasts may appear red and may feel warm, lumpy and tender. It is vital to have this checked by a doctor as the blockage can be caused by an infection, which is easily treated with some antibiotics. In worse case scenarios, the ducts have to be drained. If the problems persist post treatment, you will want to speak with your health care provider.
As you reach menopause, your periods come less often and your hormones levels are changing. This can result in your breasts feeling tender, at any given time during the month. Sometimes, they will feel lumpy as well and speaking to a doctor could never hurt, just to be sure that you are experiencing normal symptoms of menopause.
Many medications can also cause changes in your breasts with some of the most popular ones being birth control methods and menopause hormonal treatment. Your doctor will be able to inform you as to whether these are common side effects of the medication you are taking.
Many changes to your breast size are a result of hormonal shifts, and while these are very normal and common circumstances of breasts changing, it never hurts to speak with your health care provider to ensure the health of your breasts and body.