Natural Remedies for PMS Breast Pain

A young women experiencing PMS breast tenderness.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can come with a variety of symptoms, and one of the most common is breast pain or discomfort. Also known as premenstrual breast tenderness, this condition is caused by fluctuations in hormone levels and is often characterized by soreness, swelling, and sensitivity in the breasts. 1 There are some natural remedies that may help alleviate PMS-related breast pain. Note that if your breast pain is persistent or accompanied by new lumps, you should be evaluated by your healthcare provider. If your PMS is so severe that it interferes with your regular routine, you may have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and should see a healthcare provider.


Natural Remedies for PMS-Related Breast Pain

Eat a Diet of Whole, Nutrient-Rich Foods

A key factor in getting to the root of premenstrual breast pain is adopting a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and be sure to get sufficient fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. Additionally, steering clear of caffeine, alcohol, and foods high in salt can help regulate hormonal fluctuations and reduce breast tenderness.2 For some people, consuming dairy products and foods high in phyto-estrogens, such as edamame and tofu, may aggravate breast pain, so you may benefit from avoiding these as well.

Wear a Supportive, Well-Fitting Bra

Choosing the right bra is essential for providing adequate support to the breasts. Wearing a supportive, well-fitting bra can minimize movement and discomfort.3  It may be worth it to have a professional fitting done to make sure you know the correct size to choose. Opt for bras made from breathable materials to enhance overall comfort during PMS. Bras with wide straps and support can further alleviate the strain on the breast tissue, providing extra relief during the premenstrual phase.

Heat Therapy

Heat is a simple, yet effective method for relieving premenstrual breast pain in some people. Soaking in a warm bath or applying a hot water bottle to the affected area can help relax muscles and alleviate soreness.4  When applying heat directly using a heating pad or hot water bottle, limit to fifteen to twenty minutes at a time.

This natural remedy is easy to incorporate into your routine and can provide instant relief in some cases. In addition to external heat application, incorporating warm beverages like herbal teas into your daily routine can contribute to internal warmth, promoting muscle relaxation and potentially reducing the intensity of premenstrual breast tenderness. 

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil, extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose plant, is a popular supplement for PMS symptoms, including breast pain. 5  Rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), this supplement may help regulate hormonal imbalances and reduce inflammation. 6 It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any new supplement to your routine. A naturopathic doctor will work with you to determine the right supplements, in addition to dietary and lifestyle changes, to help minimize PMS-related breast tenderness and address the root cause.

AANMC follows gender and sex terminology as described by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


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