1. What supplements or dietary changes help alleviate period-related breast soreness and nipple sensitivity? Evening Primrose Oil had a lukewarm summary on NIH’s site; anything else? Obviously things that prevent bloating/water retention, but what else might help?

2. Every time I try to give myself a breast self-exam, I feel waves of nausea. I don’t know if this is due to anxiety over the potential of finding a lump, or some sort of vasovagal response because it hurts to probe, even right after my period. My breasts are large (28G) and dense (fibrocystic-ish), which doesn’t help. Why might I feel so nauseous, and what can I do about it?

2.5. Planned Parenthood told me to not bother with a monthly exam if it was a hassle/problem, because the doc’s office can catch lumps. But I’m skeptical. Does anyone have some science or additional information?

3. Not breasts: I’ve taken toilet-clogging BMs three times in the last three months. I poop every day and it’s not particularly hard and dry. So what gives?

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13 Responses to two questions about breasts

  1. Nwooeva says:

    3. Maybe I’m stating the obvious here, but… maybe it’s the toilet and not you? Is the plumbing very old? Changed brands of TP lately, or someone new move into the house?

  2. SseNope says:

    Well, the one toilet was an old one, but the first toilet was totally my fault. As for the third, my boyfriend refused to let me take the blame, so maybe it was a joint effort.

  3. Nwooeva says:

    I lived in this apartment for seven years with only one toilet-clogging incident. Then my roomie moved in and we had three back-ups and floods in as many months. Different bathroom habits from her led to it, and shoddy fixes led to it being not-quite-fixed and recurring two more times. So if it keeps happening and you’ve been fixing the clogs yourself, I’d suggest getting a plumber to do it eventually, if you can. They may just get everything in there and find something that’d been missed before.

  4. Dooeva says:

    1. I have heard Vitamin E.

    2.5 I strongly, strongly believe you should just stop, and don’t get them done at the doctor’s office either. I don’t think most people should be doing monthly breast exams, nor should doctors be doing them at checkups. There’s no evidence they actually reduce deaths from breast cancer and there is evidence they cause harm (people more likely to get biopsies for benign conditions). They’re not routinely done in the UK.

    See the links here:


  5. EohNet says:

    Thank you for saving the trouble of trying to find links that I apparently never bookmarked. Self-exams are no longer recommended unless you just want to do them, although being aware of your body is of course great.

  6. Sseyle says:

    I was gonna say vit E. I started taking it for bleeding/cramps, and was pleased to find that it has eliminated my breast tenderness (which was quite severe, at least to me.)

    It took a couple of months of taking the vitamin E everyday, so I don’t think it’s one of those “take it when you want to” things. I have to be consistent with it or it does not work.

  7. Nwooeva says:

    2.5: I asked about self-exams a while back and got some good links about how often they should [or shouldn’t] be done. http://vaginapagina.womanorium.com/20470519.html#comments

  8. Naeall says:

    Tetchy toilet, texture of BM (beyond just hardness or dryness, lol gross i know), amount of BM, amount of toilet paper used, type of toilet paper used… they could all potentially cause a clog.

  9. Talzoa says:

    3. i blame low flush toilets. i get why they’re a good idea, but i hate having to plunge the toilet after almost every bm.

  10. Selyle says:

    I take Evening Primrose Oil every night and it does help me. Have you actually tried it? It wouldn’t hurt. I usually have breast pain for half the month (after ovulation) and now I only get it about 2 days before my period. I took it for about a month before I saw any results, though.

  11. 210Super says:

    I don’t really have any answers, but I will say that I also get nauseous when I handle my own breasts for several minutes at a time. I think it has to do with a combination of things – but one of them may very well be that the skin on and around your breasts is innervated by your spinal cord at the most dense level of the sympathetic chain ganglia. This is a “fight or flight” type of nervous system center, which can definitely produce nausea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympathetic_ganglion

    Of course, there’s always the psychological implications of that as well. I don’t particularly like my female secondary sex characteristics, so maybe that’s part of what induces the nausea too!

  12. Hteall says:

    I still get sore breasts, but after I started taking the Vitamin B all the time, that symptom lessened a bit as well. (Bad bras are, of course, contributors — too-big is bad, too-small is bad, sometimes only the strapless is Just Right.)

  13. 31xova says:

    I have had fantastic results with evening primrose oil myself, despite what the NIH site has to say. The Mayo Clinic site strongly recommends it *shrug*. It was the difference between wanting to cut my breasts off because they were so painful and being pain free. You do have to take at least 3000 IUs per day, preferably 2000 in the am, and 1000 at night.

    Some women also have luck taking a lymphatic tonic, such as Burdock root (capsules or tinctures) for breast pain as well.

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