Sore Breasts never go away - NOT pregnant - UPDATE - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-10-2009, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello -

personal question. For the past two months my hormones have been all out of wack - most prevalent symptom being VERY sore swollen breasts all the time (pain extending into my armpits). I'm wondering if anyone has any insight into what this could be.

Usually they are sore post ovulation and the soreness goes away when my period starts. Last month the pain did not go away with my period. And I noticed that I had NO signs of ovulation this last month - practically zero vaginal discharge all month.

Last two periods have been ODD. They spot VERY lightly for three days or so before period starts. Previously no more than 24 hours of spotting. Then they kick in hard and strong with cramps (normal) and then taper off again - the whole fiasco of bleeding lasting 10 days. I normally have long periods but the past few years no more than 7 days give or take.

What in the world? Yet another hormonal transition? I feel like my period and hormones change once a year!

Currently I'm on day THREE of spotting of this new period - breasts are still killing me.

Oh, I'm 30 btw with three children.
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#2 of 16 Old 01-10-2009, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Now on day 4 of spotting - this is unheard of. Gained one pound despite working out for 4 weeks and eating a whole foods diet entirely the last week.
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#3 of 16 Old 01-10-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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For the past two months my hormones have been all out of wack

That's what you wrote.
Go get some blood tests to see what "out of whack" really means. That is the only way to really tell.
Feel better soon!
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#4 of 16 Old 01-10-2009, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In my lifetime I've noticed hormones do wacky things many times (nothing ever serious and always isolated and goes away eventually). Every time it is different though and not so comparable to the previous situation. I was hoping there was a supplement I could take or a diet change I could make to normalize all this? Or some insight into something this could be. I don't want to run to the medical doctor really. Anyone experience anything like this?

I talked to my Mom today and she said for 20 years of her life she had a week of spotting, a week period, and then a week of spotting. Basically a three week issue. Please don't let that be what is happening to me!!?? That is not normal, right? And the constant retention of water!! I need to feel a release of dead weight!
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#5 of 16 Old 01-10-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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so beyond stimulation that could be causing this- my first thoughts are on how much chocolate and caffeine are you exposed to daily/weekly- cut it all out right now for say 2 weeks (thinking fibrocystic breast stuff)- take some evening primerose oil ,
IF you think it could be PCOS or related again it would be cut out the caffeine and chocolate as well as most simple sugars -you could try drinking peppermint or spearmint tea a couple of times a day and
increase your B vitamin with folate--
and cinnamon 1/4 tsp/day or buy those caps

-----
on the outer edge I think what is the possibility of something not ok going on like ectopic pregnancy or some type of cancer-- and my best advice over all is go in and be checked by a provider because the alternative info is fine and well if what you have going on is simple but not helpful at all and dangerous to wait if you do have something else going on.
take care
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#6 of 16 Old 01-11-2009, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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mwherbs what do you mean by your first statement "beyond stimulation that could be causing this"

Thanks for the info. I'm not very familiar with PCOS but did look up the symptoms. I do have acne but always have since I was a teen. My weight/height are ok. I'm 129 and 5'5" but trying to get down to 120. Was at 120 for a long time and exercising regularly but got lazy about exercise and started eating a lot of nasty sugars. But last couple months my sugar intake has been drastically reduced and last couple of weeks almost none. I hardly ever consume caffeine. So while this particular problem has been present my sugar has been very reasonable. I don't have any other health concerns. Cholesterol is fine. All pregnancies were healthy. I've always had raging periods very heavy and clotty but that has been since I was a young girl. Birth control has always kept them in check. Just got off BC a few months ago - NUVA ring that was giving me horrible headaches and periods that would be light and 5 minutes later extremely heavy and clotty - was getting scary so I stopped all hormones. Everything has been ok since then until recently. Does this sound possible for PCOS or related?

I'll see how this period commences and then consider seeing a doc if I don't feel like it is normal and ovulation is happening. I just thought this was another road on the hormone highway for me. But if you gals think it might be more serious I'll get it checked!
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#7 of 16 Old 01-11-2009, 04:48 AM
 
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so stimulation will cause breasts to engorge and could make for tenderness- so if you don't have a baby to breast there are other ways that breasts might be stimulated- and this could be the case for you I don't know I would probably still use the evening primrose oil caps-- the studies have it working for about 40-60% of women who used it for breast tenderness
---------------------------------------------------------------------

PCOS is not just about weight although overweight women get all the press- I have had a few clients who are normal or thin PCOS and what is concerning is that they are at higher risk of uterine cancer,
with that said it sounds like you are fairly careful with your diet regardless of cause there are a couple of studies that showed mint tea reduced some of the symptoms - and the studies on metaformin showed that hormones and fertility improved when B vitamins were added into the mix- so before we jump into drugs these things may mitigate problems.

are you actually eating enough calories to have consistent hormone cycles?
and there are other things to look at like thyroid, pituitary...
when was your last pap? when did you have blood work last? have you had a mammogram? a change like painful breasts and other destabilized hormones and you are young not perimenopausal time to figure out what it is you have going on- I hate to pitch the worst case senario but I know atleast 2 young women who have had weird breast cancers- It could be that you are just following some sort of family pattern but rule out some of the more dangerous stuff please...
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#8 of 16 Old 01-11-2009, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I definitely eat enough calories - I'm never starving and have plenty of body fat imo! When I looked at thyroid last night the symptoms didn't really jive.

My last PAP was in December and was normal. Blood work was in August - this was to check triglycerides/cholesterol and was normal. I've never had a mammogram. My Mom has Mommograms often because she's had a few weird things in the breast starting from teenage years but never anything cancerous.

Do I pick up the EPO at the health food store?
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#9 of 16 Old 01-11-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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Blood work was in August - this was to check triglycerides/cholesterol and was normal
The blood work you had does not look at your hormonal function.
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#10 of 16 Old 01-11-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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Are you 100% positive you're not pregnant? Have you taken a pg test? Even with the spotting and bleeding, pg is still possible.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#11 of 16 Old 01-11-2009, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ruthla - I wish that was it! I actually tested last month when the breast soreness didn't go away after AF. BFN though. And period has full blown cramps and lots of blood. Just today - day 6 my period just started full force. Cramping again. Last month no ovulation - no egg white fluid anyway - I don't know if you can ovulate with ZERO fluid all month!? Anyway we do plan on TTC starting April/May for baby #4! That is partly why I'm uptight about this hormonal stuff. I want it to be normal so I can easily conceive in a few months.

And coneption has always been easy - no more than 4 months trying, sometimes one month - I'm assuming this also makes it less likely that I have PCOS, right?

Also seeing family in February and trying to get the weight down - yet another frustration about all this weirdness.
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#12 of 16 Old 01-12-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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Though your got instincts are likely right, I have to back up mwherbs on getting certain conditions ruled out. Once they've reached a conclusion you can follow-up however you choose.

I have had similar patterns, as had my mom. she turned out to have the thyroid condition hashimoto's, i did not. i saw an acupuncturist, was prescribed herbs and got back to what i considered was a reasonable approximation of normal. chinese herb health assessments and herb prescriptions tend ( isa id tend, don't anybody yell at me) to be more complex than those offered by western herbalists and i have had better results with them.

and, yes, you can absolutely get preg with 0% fertile cervical mucous. i sure did even after years of having my normal pattern be profuse fertile mucous and then having it taper to nothing. you never know what's lurking up there in the cervix!
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#13 of 16 Old 01-12-2009, 12:16 PM
 
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I don't think it's possible to ovulate without having ANY eggwhite mucus, but it is possible to have such a tiny amount (say, lasting a few minutes rather than a few days) that you miss it completely. Intercourse would have to be timed JUST RIGHT to get pg on a month like that, as the eggwhite mucus is what keeps the sperm alive between ejaculation and ovulation.

I was actually thinking more along the lines of "maybe you got pg a few months ago and you didn't ovulate because your'e already pregnant." But if you've been having HEAVY periods (not just lots of spotting but no real flow) then that's not too likely.

Obviously, something is going on with your hormones. Either you're having a very atypical pg, or your hormonal system is unbalanced and most likely causing infertility. Either way, it sounds like a visit to a HCP is in order. I'd start with a conventional medical provider for lab tests and diagnosis, then consider alternative therapies for treatment (in place of or alongside conventional treatment, depending on what the dr suggests).

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#14 of 16 Old 02-05-2009, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to give an update to the weirdness!

My breast soreness finally went away after this recent period. And I "may" have ovulated. I wasn't sure.

I went to the doc and he wasn't worried at all. He told me I was obviously having anovulatory cycles and that this is normal for women to get for a couple to four months at a time but that it should clear up on its own. He also said the long periods (15 days) and the constant PMS that never goes away is a large symptom of anovulatory cycles. (That is in contrast to popular belief that says women don't have a period when they don't ovulate). He took a swab for a culture and felt manually. He said he didn't feel any polyps etc. and that if the problem didn't go away in a couple months to come back for more tests.

BUT NOW.........

I had sex on night 27 after lmp and I had bleeding - lots of fresh pink blood. I don't normally bleed after sex so I assumed that it was my period starting (which usually arrives 28-30 days). Well the fresh pink blood went away and now here I sit at night 30!? What in the world? Pregnancy test bfn. I don't think I ovulated till late in my cycle Jan. 26 if at all so maybe the late ovulation is causing a late period????

It just isn't me to bleed after sex. I know some women do but when it has happened to me in the past it has always been af starting not random bleeding. I do have the regular pms symptoms, bloating, swollen breasts. So I assume it is coming. But I'm frustrated with all these "malfunctions".
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#15 of 16 Old 02-06-2009, 11:58 PM
 
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Why wouldn't the doctor order some basic hormonal tests?

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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#16 of 16 Old 02-07-2009, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know....

I probably should've been more assertive about asking for them. I told him I wanted to make sure this wasn't something serious - repeated that a couple of times. And he shrugged it off like this was just SO normal that I felt kind of silly to keep asking for more tests. He's a very nice older doctor - probably 50's to 60's. And quite knowledgable. I think his view was basically that many women go through anovulatory months and that sometimes it just can't be explained. (He mentioned some women do this during certain seasons in the year - such as the winter). And as long as it doesn't stick around like that, that it is probably O.K. He did say to return if it happened for a couple of more months. Since it had only occurred twice I think he may have felt like I jumped the gun.

He did say that we could treat it with the birth control pill if it was still happening in a couple of months. The theory being that the pill gives most women a "reset" on their period and likely my cycle will return to normal if I do that. I don't like that approach at all. I want to know WHY things are happening, not try to cover them up with synthetic drugs. So I won't do that especially since I plan to get pregnant in a few months!! Don't want to play with the pill!

I don't know what to think about him dismissing it so easily. Surely I will demand more tests if this goes on a couple of more months. Right now I'm suffering from such severe PMS. My breasts can't even be looked at or I'll scream. And I'm so tired like I am in early pregnancy. I've been yelling at my kids all day and I feel like my hormones have got me completely insane. I just want my period to start and things to regulate.
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