Premenstrual breast pain, also called cyclical mastalgia, is an uncomfortable symptom many women experience. Research in Clinical Evidence, published by the British Medical Journal, indicates cyclical breast pain spontaneously resolves itself for 20 to 30 percent of women, but can recur in up to 60 percent of cases.

"Breast pain is often described as any discomfort, tenderness, throbbing or sharp stabbing pain in and around the breast tissue. Women of all ages can experience breast pain, and it can be constant or occur from time to time," explained Luke Powles, M.D., MRCGP, clinical director at Bupa Health Clinics.

Tracking any changes in your breast, whether pain or swelling, is a good way for you to discover a pattern and identify any cause for concern.

What causes breast pain?

Cyclical breast pain is a result of fluctuating hormones that take place in the week leading up to your period. The pain varies from mild to severe, with some women experiencing a dull ache and others feeling a sharp pain alongside swelling.

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