Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

Why Are My Breasts Sore?

Like most parts of the body, breasts can be sore from time to time for a number of reasons. Breast pain is common but rarely serious.

Here are some possible causes and tips for how to feel better.

What Can Cause Breast Soreness?


Breasts start to get bigger around the time puberty begins and often feel sore. Most females start puberty when they're 8–13 years old, and they typically start getting breasts around age 10 or 11.

At first you might notice a small button-like lump beneath the nipple area. This is called the breast bud, and it’s normal for it to be a little tender.

Sometimes males develop breast during puberty, called gynecomastia. It usually goes away on its own.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of mood and body changes before or during your period. One common change is sore breasts.

The levels of some hormones change during PMS. This can cause the body to hold in water, making it puffy and bloated. The extra fluid makes breasts bigger. It also stretches the nerves, so breasts may feel achy or tender. Sometimes it can seem like your breasts gained weight overnight.


Breast swelling and tenderness can be an early sign of pregnancy, along with a missed period. Talk with a parent and your doctor right away if you think you might be pregnant.

What Can I Do to Relieve Sore Breasts?

If your breasts are sore because of PMS, know that symptoms should go away by the time your period ends. Here are some other tips that may help you feel better:

  • Take a pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Wear a supportive bra that fits well.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat healthy foods. You can try cutting down on foods and drinks that can have a lot of caffeine (like coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate) or salt. Eating a diet rich in calcium might help ease tender breasts and other PMS symptoms.
  • Get enough sleep. Teens need about 8–10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Distract yourself. Sometimes getting your mind off your aches is the best thing you can do. Snuggle on the couch with your pillow and watch a good movie.

What Else Should I Know?

See your doctor if you have breast pain that’s sharper or lasts longer than usual, or that otherwise concerns you. Also call if you notice discharge from one or both breasts.

Your doctor can do a breast exam, where they press lightly on different parts of your breasts. It’s quick and may help them figure out what’s going on.

Reviewed by: Lonna P. Gordon, MD
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2024

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies. To learn more, read our privacy policy.