Sore Breasts After Ovulation: Causes and How to Get Relief



If you have sore nipples after ovulation or breast pain during ovulation , it can be caused by a variety of reasons. The good news is that there is no cause for concern as it is normal for a lot of women.

What Causes Sore and Tender Breasts?

A woman is holding her breast.

When ovulation has ended, your breasts may become sore. The reason for sore breasts is associated directly with two reproductive hormones: estrogen and progesterone. These hormones, progesterone in particular, are the reason why your breasts and nipples are sore.

Ovulation occurs for one main reason: to reproduce.

Even if you have no intentions of getting pregnant, your body is preparing itself for pregnancy just in case it does occur. Progesterone levels are rising as a result, causing the body to start retaining water (that bloated feeling and look).

The breasts are the first area to swell.

Water inside of the breasts will cause them to slightly stretch and become sensitive. The amount of progesterone will determine the level of sensitivity felt in the breasts and surrounding area.

Foods you eat, such as salt or caffeine, can cause the swelling and water retention to get worse.

1. Pregnancy

Tender breasts after ovulation is one of the first signs that pregnancy may have occurred. This may or may not be accompanied by other symptoms, such as implantation bleeding or cramping.

Woman is looking at the pregnancy test.

If you’ve tried to get pregnant or had intercourse, sore breast are an early pregnancy sign.

It’s recommended that you wait 10 – 14 days and take a pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy. At-home tests are 97% accurate and 99% accurate when hCG levels have reached a high amount. You’ll also want to consult with a doctor if you’ve missed your period, or the pregnancy test was positive.

A blood pregnancy test can be taken to determine pregnancy with a much higher accuracy rate.

Sore breasts and pregnancy are very common.

2. Past Pregnancy Considerations

Many women that have been pregnant in the past or who have miscarried may experience breast tenderness during ovulation. The cause for increased sensitivity at this time still remains unknown.

Immediately following a failed pregnancy, hormone levels are still high, so the breasts will remain sore and tender.

However, if a woman has been having her menstrual cycle regularly, past pregnancies should not leave high levels of progesterone or estrogen in the body.

If you’ve been pregnant before, there is a good chance you’ll experience breast pain during ovulation.

Alleviating Breast Tenderness

The woman is checking her breast.

There are several techniques that can be followed that will allow you to alleviate breast tenderness symptoms.

  • Support bras can help. Your breasts swell during ovulation, so a bra that adds a little support will ensure minimum strain on the breasts.
  • Cold compresses can be placed in tender areas. Wrap ice cubes in a towel and apply for 5 – 10 minutes at a time.
  • Heating pads are recommended for under the breasts.
  • Salt is a natural absorber of water and can cause your body or breasts to swell. Reducing salt will reduce the amount of water trapped in the body, alleviating symptoms.
  • Fiber rich foods are recommended as they’ll help the body regulate hormone production. Fruits and leafy greens should be added to your diet.
  • Limit the amount of caffeine and sugar you take in per day.
  • Clothes that are too tight can be a problem. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight in the top so that your breasts have some movement allowed.
  • Medical issues can cause tenderness and will need to be diagnosed by a professional.

In most cases, soreness and tenderness will start to lower when your period is present. Your period will cause hormone levels in the body to drop back down to normal levels, and will cause pain to subside greatly.

If the pain level is the same when you have your period, it’s time to consult with a medical professional.

Breast tenderness and ovulation are naturally linked. If none of the recommendations above help, a gentle massage or an over-the-counter aspirin may help to reduce pain. If the pain is severe, you’ll want to consult with a medical professional and undergo a full medical evaluation. In most circumstances, the pain should not be sharp and will not be so severe that you can’t sleep at night or go about your normal daily routine.


  1. Hi so we have been TTC for 1 and a half now taking vitamins every day also. 1st month I never caught :(. So I’m on my second cycle now the first day of my last period was 1/08/2017 and then I was on very lightly for 4 days only slightly heavy if I wiped sorry for the details x. I came off on the 4th and end part was the Saturday almost nothing. We then became TTC again from the 6th/08/2017 now today is the 13th of August my nipples are tingling since yesterday and they have gone slightly darker ? Is there a chance I could be pregnant I tested Friday with a £1 preg test and I got a BFN. Xxx hope you can help we have been using condoms for 12 months as came off the pull so it’s out of my system completly 🙂

  2. I suppose to menstruate on the 10th of October but I menstruated on 1st October I started feeling nipple pains after the menstruation. is it normal? Please help me

  3. Good evening and weldone I saw my menstrual on 12th of October just a drop truout that day nothing came again until d third day which is 14th of October I did tracking day 14 and 16 I was told that no follicle seen now since three days ago I have been having sorebreast paining me seriously what could be the cause Pls help a concerned sis


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