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Pregnancy

Neuralgia of breasts?

03/13/2000

Question:

I`m now 17 weeks pg. In the last 4 weeks or so, my breasts, which have hurt a ton since I got pg, have gotten even stranger. In the first place, I`m not allergic to bras! Unless I wear cotton, it feel as though my breasts got stuck by a nettle, or have had cayenne pepper rubbed into them. (No rash shows, although they get a bit red.) Now I`m experiencing about two big pain spots in each breast, even though I took my (all cotton) bra off about two hours ago. They hurt like MAD.

What could cause this? Nerves being pressured? I was a 34D, but kind of slender (143 at five foot ten). I have put on 19 lbs, and my breasts are now a 38DD. My mother also apparently got huge when pg (darn it.)

Any solutions or suggestions would be really appreciated. I don`t even know what type of doctor to speak to about this!

Answer:

Your obstetrician is the perfect person to talk about these issues because many women have breast-related complaints during pregnancy.

Alhtough is is difficult to render a diagnosis without an exam, the underlying cause is the enlargement of your breast associated with the pregnancy. Although this is probably not an inherited trait from your mother, many women experience the bra size increase you describe. Two things can occur in this situation. First, there is excess pulling on the ligaments that keep the shape to your breasts and this is sometimes felt as a pulling or burning. The second thing is that if you do not find a properly supportive bra, there can be a lot of pressure on the side of your breasts. Those might be the sore spots you are referring to.

My suggestion is to first speak about this with your obstetrician. In the meanwhile, find a supportive but not too tight bra that may ease your symptoms.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Arthur T Ollendorff, MD Arthur T Ollendorff, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati