Perhaps you were putting your bra on in the morning, reaching for something in a top cabinet, or getting a hug, when you first noticed it — an annoying twinge of pain in one or both of your breasts.
While a lot of women with breast pain are rightfully very, very worried the first time they experience it, most of the time, it is nothing to worry about, says Raquel B. Dardik, MD of the NYU Langone Medical Centre. In fact, it turns out that breast pain is a lot more common — and harmless — than you might think.
"You probably don't have cancer," Dr. Dardik puts it bluntly. So, you can take a deep breath and relax.
If you're worried about your breast pain, especially if it's sudden, severe, or seems to be related to a new lump, that should be investigated by your doctor. However, it can ease your mind to know that breast pain is more often associated with a bunch of other (sometimes surprising) things. The way you work out, the medications you take, and your period can all cause some unfortunate soreness in your breasts. Because, after all, breasts are a little more complicated than we give them credit for.
Ahead, we've collected a few of the most common causes of breast pain — and how to feel better.