Breast pain, known as mastalgia, is a common symptom among women who experience breast tenderness, soreness, stiffness or sharp pain in the breast tissue. The pain may be recurrent or it may occur only from time to time.Breast pain can range from mild to severe and can last a few days or more, usually around the menstrual cycle periods. Although all women can experience breast pain, it is far more common in younger women, just before or around menopause. If unexplained breast pain doesn’t go away after two or more menstrual cycles, examinations by a doctor may be recommended. 


Breast pain is classified as either cyclic or noncyclic and symptoms or other distinguishing characteristics are based on the type of breast pain.


Although the exact cause of brain pain is unknown, contributing factors may include:

  • Hormone changes from menopause
  • Menstruation and premenstrual syndrome
  • Breast structure and size
  • Fatty acid imbalance
  • Breast surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Medication use: Infertility treatments and oral birth control pills may be associated with breast pain as well as certain antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Sarafem) and sertraline (Zoloft).