How Long Does Breast Tenderness Last on Birth Control?
Taking birth control pills most often comes with a myriad of uncomfortable side effects. Women commonly complain of sore and tender breasts which often feel like they become heavier and bigger than usual. However, the feeling of engorgement is not a permanent outcome that most small-breasted women can aesthetically enjoy. Birth control pills can temporarily make your breasts seem bigger but unfortunately, it is only a temporary perk. So how long does breast tenderness last on birth control? Before you decide to go on the pill, let’s take a look at how your body reacts to these changes brought about by hormonal contraception
The Skinny on Birth Control Pills
Oral contraceptive pills are hormone-based pills that are taken to prevent pregnancy. Some women who suffer from irregular periods, severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, endometriosis, and hormonal acne are also prescribed to take the “pill” to correct these issues
The way birth control works is that prevents your ovaries from producing eggs so that in the event of sexual intercourse, there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize to produce a baby.
About 16 percent of women from the ages of 15 to 45 years old are recorded to be on birth control pills. Although the side effects may be common amongst women, there are still several factors that can affect an individual with the use of a specific type of pill.
Oral contraceptives are made of synthetic versions of female hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and a combination of both. Some women may respond well or manifest unpleasant side effects from either of the versions.
Women may be prescribed to take Monophasic pills which contain a balanced percentage of hormones in one pill while some women are given two or three separate Phasic pills that contain different dosages of hormones in each pill.
Before taking birth control pills, it is best to learn and understand the way your body will respond and handle its side effects. The main goal of hormonal contraceptives is to prevent pregnancy by::
- Preventing ovulation or the release of eggs from the ovaries
- Thinning of the uterine lining
- Thickening the mucus of the cervix
If the pills are taken correctly and without fail, this can effectively prevent any unexpected pregnancies. However, according to research, about 12 % of women get pregnant even while on the pill due to missed pills.
Birth Control Side Effects
There is a long list of common side effects women experience while on the pill. Some do experience fewer symptoms than others while others have severe symptoms than most
- Tender/ sore breasts
- Weight gain
- Decreased libido
- Changes in eyesight
- Mood shifts
- Vaginal discharge
Once you start taking oral contraceptive pills, your hormone levels will increase. This eventually causes evident side effects in the body that may become uncomfortable or even annoying at some point. But they do subside and ease up after the body gets used to the increased amount of hormones
Breast Tenderness while on Birth Control
One of the most common side effects of taking birth control pills is breast tenderness. Just like how breast milk production is triggered by the hormone prolactin, breast tissues react the same once you start on birth control hormones for contraception. The increase of estrogen and progesterone hormones in the body causes the same side effects when the body produces more of these hormones during the menstrual cycle
Estrogen is the hormone mainly responsible for breast development as girls go through puberty.
While teenage girls benefit from this increased estrogen, do women on the pill also enjoy this side effect of increased breast size? While on contraceptive pills, women may notice breast tenderness that can come with engorgement or seemingly heavy breasts. Does this necessarily mean bigger breasts? Some women do report an increase in breast size however, this is only a temporary perk. Breasts typically return to their normal size and feel once an individual stops taking birth control pills.
Most women may retain fluid or temporarily gain weight while on the pill which can also be attributed to enlarged breasts. Some women take longer to get used to birth control pills and have to deal with breast tenderness for a few monthly cycles before this side effect symptom subsides. There are women though who don’t suffer from breast tenderness as much but may experience other side effects more intensely.
Can Anyone Take Birth Control Pills?
It is highly recommended for any woman to consult her doctor before taking any oral contraceptives or any form of birth control for that matter. This also applies if you plan on changing birth control methods or changing prescribed hormone contraceptive pills. Ask and discuss with your doctor about any side effects and risk factors that may need to be considered for your state of health.
These factors can help your doctor assess which birth control method is best for you :
- Age ( if you are over 35 )
- High cholesterol levels
- History of migraines and auras
- Blood clotting disorder
How to Manage Breast Tenderness
Sore or tender breasts can be managed with non-prescription meds such as Acetaminophen and NSAIDs. These can provide temporary relief from pain especially during menstrual cycles
Prescribed medication can be given for severe cyclic breast tenderness. Such medicines are rarely given due to side effects that may cause more harm than relief. It is also important to note that for those who are not on the pill, oral also given to reduce cyclic breast tenderness Magnesium supplements are also known to reduce breast pain. This should be taken two weeks before the next menstrual cycle. Magnesium is also best for alleviating PMS symptoms. A diet low in fat can also be followed to help ease breast tenderness.
Wearing a properly fitted sports bra if you live an active lifestyle, good full breast support can help ease the pain by supporting the weight of breasts. When buying a sports bra, make sure that both breasts remain motionless when you move. Your breasts should move in sync with your chest. Women should always be mindful of how their bra fits and supports their breasts.
Replace your sports bra when it has been stretched and no longer provides full support, Women with full breasts usually need to replace bras every 6 months or so.