Mastalgia is the medical term for breast pain. Most women have to deal with episodes of occasional breast pain at some point in their lives. It can range from mildly annoying to, quite frankly, disabling. It is often a challenge for physicians to manage and treat.
Cyclic breast pain begins about ten days before menses and usually involves the outer portions of both breasts and may radiate to the arm pits. The cause for this is not known but a higher concentration of estrogen and progesterone in the blood is present at this time in the menstrual cycle which can stimulate fluid retention in the breast—the pain may be related to this.
Non-cyclic mastalgia, pain not related chronologically to menses, may have several causes–breast trauma, infections, and cysts have been associated with pain, but the cause may be completely unknown in many cases.
If you have breast pain which persists for over three weeks, which interferes with daily functioning, an evaluation by a physician is recommended. A breast examination is done and a referral may be issued for some type of breast imaging,