Breast tenderness can be a common and unwelcome symptom for women in the days and weeks following an abortion. It may take 1-2 weeks for your body to reestablish its regular hormone balance and your breasts may be sore during this time. Along with nausea and bloating, breast pain throughout this period is considered normal. If you begin a hormonal birth control method (such as the pill, a hormone patch, or a vaginal ring) immediately after your procedure, this can also cause breast pain in the first few months of use. If you have any concerns about your health or the symptoms you are experiencing after an abortion, or if your breast pain lasts longer than 2 weeks, please follow-up with your medical provider.
<img src='https://i0.wp.com/www.wikihow.com/images/thumb/8/8c/Relieve-Breast-Pain-After-Abortion-Step-1.jpg/aid10878066-v4-728px-Relieve-Breast-Pain-After-Abortion-Step-1.jpg' alt='Use heat and cold treatments to reduce tenderness’ width=’900′ height=’599′ />
Use heat and cold treatments to reduce tenderness
. Ice packs can help reduce swelling and inflammation which can alleviate your pain. Hot compresses, warm baths or heating pads can also help. Alternating between hot and cold treatments, with 20-minute breaks in between, can help manage your pain.
Cool cabbage leaves are also a traditional folk remedy for breast tenderness and there have been some modern studies to support this.
For heat or ice treatments, the general recommendation is 20 minutes on, followed by a 20-minute break.
Use an NSAID topical cream for pain relief.
Check with your physician and follow your aftercare instructions when making decisions about pain relieving drugs. Topical use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams are very effective in treating breast pain and can be prescribed for you by a doctor or nurse practitioner. Oral use of NSAIDs has not been demonstrated to help alleviate breast pain, but they are anti-inflammatories so some women may find relief using over-the-counter ibuprofen or naproxen.
Diclofenac, an NSAID topical, is very effective in relieving breast pain. This requires a prescription to obtain, so follow the instructions on its use as provided by your pharmacist.
If taking naproxen orally, dosage is 500mg at first, then 250mg every 6 to 8 hours as required.
Dosage for oral ibuprofen for mild to moderate pain is 400mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
Wear a well-fitted cotton bra to support your breasts.
Look for a bra with no underwire that does not push your breasts against your chest, like an encapsulation-style sports bra that lifts and separates. Check your size by measuring your chest at the bottom of your breasts while wearing your bra. If you get an odd number, add 5 inches (13 cm). If it’s even, add 4 inches (10 cm). That is your band size. Find your cup size by measuring around the widest part of your chest. Subtract your two measurements and use the following size guide:
Less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) is aa AA
1 inch (2.5 cm) is an A
2 inches (5.1 cm) is a B
3 inches (7.6 cm) is a C
4 inches (10 cm) is a D
5 inches (13 cm) is a DD
Practice relaxation therapy to reduce pain-related anxiety.
Refocus your mind away from emotional and physical pain to ease your discomfort and calm your thoughts. Relax in a comfortable position in a calm and quiet place. Close your eyes and breathe deeply and regularly. Using guided imagery, focus your thoughts on pleasant, happy images as you breathe. Relax tense muscles as you continue to breathe deeply.
Practice relaxation therapy by yourself, or with the help of a trained therapist.
Switch to a high-fiber diet.
Eating a diet that is low in animal fats and high in whole grains, vegetables and beans, will help your body breakdown the additional estrogen your it has been producing. The more quickly your body can metabolize this excess estrogen, the sooner your breast tenderness will subside.
Green peas, broccoli, oatmeal, quinoa, lentils and black beans are good examples of foods to include in a high-fiber diet.
Eat foods that are high in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and B vitamins.
These particular vitamins help your body regulate the hormone, prolactin, which is the chemical your body produces during pregnancy to prepare your breasts for lactation. By supporting the regulation of this hormone through your diet, you can help your body regain its regular balance.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are great sources of vitamin C.
You can find calcium in dairy products and leafy green vegetables like kale.
Magnesium-rich foods include options like dark chocolate, almonds and edamame (soy beans).
Take a vitamin E supplement for two weeks.
Studies on the benefits of vitamin E supplements are not conclusive, but some women find relief when used for the short term. Talk to your doctor before taking a supplement. The dose considered safe for supplementation is 150-200 IUI. 1 IUI is equal to 0.45mg of synthetic vitamin E, or alpha-tocopheral, so when taking supplements do not exceed 67.5-90mg of vitamin E per day.
Instead of supplements, you can include foods naturally high in these vitamins. Vitamin E is found in almonds, peanuts, avocados, and spinach, among others.
If you continue to experience breast pain after 2 weeks, check with your healthcare provider.
Consume Omega-3 fatty acids.
Although the benefits of this have not held up in rigorous scientific studies, some women may find breast pain relief from incorporating plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids through diet or supplementation. Check with your physician before taking a supplement as ingesting high levels of these compounds can interfere with some medications, like anti-coagulants. Two types of Omega-3 are recommended, EPA and DHA, at a daily intake of 250mg each.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, flaxseed, fortified dairy products (check the label), and leafy greens like kale, brussel sprouts and spinach.
Take primrose oil supplements for an alternative approach.
Like many other supplements, scientific evidence has not been able to support the efficacy of primrose oil for breast pain issues. However, it is generally considered to be a relatively safe and long-standing folk remedy that many women have found works for them. Do not take evening primrose if you have a bleeding disorder, epilepsy, seizures or if you are planning to have surgery in the next two weeks. Always discuss supplements with your doctor before taking anything new.
Look for this supplement in most drug stores or online.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine to minimize discomfort.
Although not conclusive, some studies suggest that caffeine and nicotine can contribute to breast pain. Some women find that reducing or stopping their consumption of these compounds from coffee, tea, soda and, in the case of nicotine, tobacco products, does provide some relief.
Reduce sodium intake to reduce swelling.
Eating a high-salt diet can cause your body to retain water, adding to swelling in your already painful breast tissue. Limit your salt intake by avoiding highly processed foods, fast food, and table salt for a couple of weeks while your body adjusts.
Consider alternative flavor-enhancers beyond table salt when cooking at home. Try garlic powder, dried onion, and chili powder.