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Breast Pain Treatment Overview

Find the right care and learn about different treatments.
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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Mild, occasional breast pain can often be treated at home.
  • OTC pain relievers can help discomfort.
See home treatments

When you may need a provider

  • Breast pain is severe, occurs frequently, or doesn’t go away.
  • You have additional symptoms like fever, chills, breast discoloration, nipple discharge, or a mass.
  • A follow-up visit to assess your breast pain can be scheduled via telehealth. But the initial visits for breast pain would be better diagnosed and treated in person.
See care providers

Emergency Care

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Call 911 or go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Breast pain along with fever, chills, redness, drainage, tissue change, or swelling
  • Trauma
  • Sudden, severe breast pain
  • Breast pain that occurs with dizziness or lightheadedness

The suppliers listed follow Buoy’s clinical guidelines, but listing the suppliers does not constitute a referral or recommendation by Buoy. When you click on the link and/or engage with these services Buoy will be compensated.

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All treatments for breast pain
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Read more about breast pain care options

When to see a healthcare provider

See a healthcare provider if breast pain is severe, occurs frequently, or isn’t helped by treatment. You should also see a provider if you have breast pain and other symptoms like fever, chills, breast discoloration, nipple discharge, or a mass.

Breast pain can be very scary because it makes many people think about breast cancer. If the pain doesn’t go away, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for both reassurance and getting an accurate diagnosis.

Your provider may prescribe medication or refer you to a specialist for more advanced testing and treatment.

Getting diagnosed for breast pain

  • To identify the cause of breast pain, your healthcare provider will ask questions about your symptoms, medications you’re taking, and other health issues.
  • They will do a physical breast exam to check for masses, tenderness, enlarged lymph nodes, breast symmetry, skin changes or discoloration, tissue abnormalities, and warmth.
  • The exam might help diagnose a breast infection or in rare cases, breast cancer.
  • Your provider may examine your chest wall for signs of pain from an extramammary source (pain that feels like it starts in your breast but is actually coming from a nearby area, like the chest).
  • Your provider may also order imaging tests like a mammogram or ultrasound. If any breast abnormalities are found, you may be referred to a breast specialist for further evaluation and treatment.

What to expect from your visit

  • Breast pain caused by infection (mastitis) is treated with antibiotics.
  • If postmenopausal hormone therapy is causing intolerable breast pain, your healthcare provider may reduce or discontinue the treatment.
  • For breast pain caused by hormonal birth control, your provider may recommend changing the type of birth control you take to one that has less estrogen. If a low-estrogen option doesn’t help, your provider may recommend using a non-hormonal form of birth control instead.
  • If you don’t take hormonal birth control pills, your doctor may recommend starting them. These can be helpful for some women.
  • The hormone progesterone can also help relieve breast pain in women.
  • Bromocriptine (Parlodel) may be prescribed, although it is less commonly used. This medication helps lower prolactin levels, which can help breast pain.
  • If you still have pain after trying other treatments, your healthcare provider may discuss the option of taking soltamox (Tamoxifen) or danazol (Danocrine). Both medications lower estrogen levels to reduce breast pain, but have side effects that must be considered before using.

Prescription breast pain medications

  • Antibiotics
  • Low-estrogen birth control pills
  • Prolactin inhibitor: bromocriptine (Parlodel)
  • Soltamox (Tamoxifen)
  • Danocrine (Danazol)

Types of providers

  • A primary care provider can treat mild to moderate symptoms.
  • An obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) specializes in women’s health and can treat most cases of breast pain.
  • A breast surgeon or breast specialist may be needed if the pain is severe after trying other treatments or cancer is suspected.
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