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Breast Pain And Menstrual Periods


Updated March 14, 2011

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Breast Pain And Combination Birth Control Pills
Breast Pain and Combination Birth Control Pill

Breast Pain and Combination Birth Control Pill

Art © Pam Stephan

Cyclical breast pain can occur even while you're taking birth control pills. In fact, birth control pills are sometimes prescribed to help relieve breast pain, since they change the hormonal cycle. Some types of birth control pills help relieve breast pain for some women, while other women have more breast pain while on the pill. Each woman processes hormones differently, so taking a birth control pill is actually no guarantee for breast pain relief. You have to try the pill in order to find out whether or not it works for your breast pain.

Two Types of Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills use synthetic hormones to stop ovulation and change your cervical mucus, reducing the chance of a pregnancy. There are two types of birth control pills available in the United States: the combination pill and the minipill (progestin). Your risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer is lower when taking a birth control pill, but your risk of estrogen-positive breast cancer is slightly higher.

The Combination Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP) And Breast Pain

The combination birth control pill contains two synthetic hormones: progestin and estrogen. It works by preventing ovulation. In the graph, you can see that the combination pill boosts hormone levels and maintains those levels before, during, and after the time that ovulation would normally occur. When used as prescribed, an egg is not released to your uterus, preventing the chance of conception. In this hormonal climate, breast pain can take on a couple of different patterns. Depending on how much estrogen and progesterone you normally have, your breast pain may be less than normal overall, or it may be worse than normal during menses and less than normal for the balance of your cycle.

If you are taking the minipill, also called the POP, Progestin Only Pill, your menstrual and breast pain cycles will be different from those on the combination oral contraceptive pill (COCP). Now let's look at how the minipill affects your breast pain levels.

How Minipills (Progestin Only Pills) Affect Breast Pain

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