Taking Evening Primrose Oil capsules is the simplest and best nonhormonalagent to try first.
It contains GLA and has been shown to reduce breast pain in over 70% of women. Evening Primrose Oil cannot be prescribed by your doctor but can be bought over the counter in chemists or most supermarkets in 500mg or 1gm strengths. It needs to be taken in quite large doses (1-3gms) each day and it may take three to four months before you feel the benefit. Evening Primrose Oil should only be taken for six months at a time. Taking it for longer will not produce more improvement in your symptoms.
If Evening Primrose Oil is not effective other medications can be used, please ask your GP for more advice and information. Medication such as antibiotics, diuretics (water tablets) and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) are not effective for breast pain.
There is evidence that breast sensitivity is related to diet, especially the balance between saturated and unsaturated fats. Try reducing your animal fat intake such as butter, cream and fatty meat and increase your daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Research has shown that caffeine may contribute to breast pain so reducing your caffeine intake in drinks such as tea, coffee and soft drinks may help.
Make sure that you wear a well fitting, supportive bra. Sometimes wearing a soft bra in bed at night may help.
Keep a diary of your pain marking the days when the pain is moderate or severe. Remember to mark the days when you have your period, this may show a pattern related to your breast pain.
Some medications used to treat breast pain have unpleasant side-effects so are usually reserved for those women who have severe breast pain that is not relieved by more simple measures. Please discuss this with your GP.
What if my pain does not follow a monthly cycle?
Non-cyclical breast pain may come from your ribs or the muscle of your chest wall. Sometimes the joint between the front end of a rib and the breastbone can become inflamed and painful.
Simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be bought over the counter and may be all that you need. Wear a well fitting, supportive bra.
Reducing your animal fat intake such as butter, cream and fatty meat and increasing your daily intake of fresh fruit and vegetables may also help.