How to Reduce Cyclical Breast Tenderness Holistically

Cyclical breast tenderness is so common that a lot of us think that it is a normal part of our cycle experience, but the truth is that it typically indicates a hormonal imbalance. It may affect as many as 70 percent of women at some point in their lives, so know that you are not alone! You can also take comfort in the fact that cyclical breast pain can be addressed through completely holistic means.

(Note: Non-cyclical breast tenderness does exist, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll be focusing on cyclical breast tenderness.)

What is cyclical breast tenderness?

Cyclical breast tenderness, known in the medical community as “cyclical mastalgia,” is described as “discomfort, tension or pain in one or both breasts” (1). It typically occurs during the second half of the cycle (known as the luteal phase), following ovulation. Personally, I used to experience it as swelling and increased tenderness towards the end of my cycle. The experience of mastalgia can be milder, as in my case, or can be severe enough to disrupt sleep, interfere with sexual activity and make wearing a bra painful.

What causes breast tenderness?

Cyclical breast tenderness in the second half of the cycle is the result of hormonal activity that leads to water retention in the breast tissue, known as stroma.

Hormone imbalances are the primary cause of breast tenderness. Too much estrogen or too little progesterone are the most common imbalances (and can occur together). Increased prolactin levels may also play a role in some cases.

There are numerous lifestyle factors associated with mastalgia: smoking and caffeine consumption are both highly correlated with breast pain. Oral contraceptives, other forms of hormonal birth control, and hormone replacement therapy may also contribute to cyclical breast pain.

To learn about holistic treatments that will help you banish cyclical breast tenderness, read my full post on

Seed cycling is a great natural remedy for cyclical breast tenderness, PMS, and irregular periods. You can download my free Seed Cycling Protocol here.

*Photo credit: Mike Wakefield via Unsplash