Menstrual-related breast discomfort is a reality for half of all women ages 15-49.
The generally accepted term to describe breast discomfort caused by the influx of hormones during the menstrual cycle is called fibrocystic breast condition (FBC). Previously referred to as “fibrocystic breast disease,” the terminology was changed due to the fact that the breast changes are benign (harmless). Healthcare professionals now prefer to refer to the condition as “fibrocystic breasts,” “fibrocystic breast changes” or “fibrocystic breast condition.”
Cause and Symptoms
The condition affects millions of women every month – a cycle of breast tenderness, aches, swelling, heaviness and, for many, even acute pain caused by high levels of estrogen and prolactin. While it’s best known for its role in the production of milk, prolactin also causes breast cells to build up month after month with each menstrual cycle. This buildup results in swollen breast tissue, which can develop into lumps and masses that put pressure on surrounding nerves, leading to breast discomfort that can last anywhere from several days to a few weeks each month. This discomfort may interfere significantly with intimacy, clothing selection, exercise and even routine social activities.*
Healthcare professionals will typically first physically examine the breasts for lumps and irregularities. A sample of breast tissue may be needed to obtain an accurate diagnosis, but mammograms or breast ultrasound exams can also pick up the signs of a fibrocystic breast. Lymph nodes (in armpit) may be affected in some women as the lymph nodes form part of the breast tissue.
Previously, healthcare professionals have not been able to prescribe their patients an effective remedy to address breast discomfort without side effects. Natural remedies such as limiting caffeine and supplementing with vitamin E have not been demonstrated to work.
However, now scientists have confirmed that molecular iodine is a form of iodine that has been demonstrated to reduce premenstrual breast discomfort symptoms associated with fibrocystic breast condition.