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This is how the size and texture of the breasts change throughout the menstrual cycle

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One of the symptoms that often makes women think that their period is near is when breasts hurt and swelleven becoming uncomfortable be face down It all depends on the woman and the menstrual cycle, of course, but sometimes it can be really annoying.

As everything has its explanation: the influence of female hormones on the menstrual cycle. “It is completely normal that the variation in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle also influences the breasts, causing them to change shape and size throughout the month, although almost imperceptibly,” the doctor emphasizes in an interview with Infosalus. Francisco Carmona, doctor in Gynecology and Obstetrics and head of the Gynecology service at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

Specifically, it specifies that There are five phases of change in the breasts throughout the menstrual cycle:

The first days of the cycle: When the period starts, The texture of the breasts can be irregular and nodular. It can also make you feel like they are bigger. Indeed they are. The mammary glands dilate in anticipation of a possible pregnancy and as soon as your body realizes that you are not pregnant, the breasts will reduce their size.

At the end of menstruation. Between day 3 and 7 of the period, depending on each woman, the breasts will be softer, They will deflate and you will notice them lighter. It is the time of the cycle when they are smallest, since estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest level. This is precisely The best time to perform a breast self-examination or a mammogram.

When ovulation is approaching: Around day 12 of the cycle, when the follicular phase begins, the breasts will look more perky and beautiful. This is because estrogen improves the elasticity of the skin and causes the breast to rise.

after ovulation. Around day 15 and until the end of the cycle, during the luteal phase, progesterone will peak and the breasts will have greater size and densityand you may even feel that they are veiny or inflamed.

The premenstrual week. When estrogen is low, breasts may become less symmetrical and appear lopsided. This will change as soon as menstruation arrives.

As the doctor mentioned before, hormones are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. Specifically, it indicates that two, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH, produced both by the pituitary glandalso called ‘hypophysis’.

Both hormones promote ovulation and stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone.. In turn, estrogen and progesterone stimulate the uterus and breasts to prepare for possible fertilization. Therefore, we can say that there are two cycles that develop at the same time: the ovarian cycle and the menstrual cycle”, as specified in ‘Practical guide to women’s health’ (RBA).

Regarding the ovarian cycle, he clarifies that it is the cycle that goes from the maturation of an ovarian follicle to the release of an egg, followed by the formation of a corpus luteum. If pregnancy does not occur, this corpus luteum disappears and the cycle begins again.

On the other hand, Dr. Carmona indicates that the menstrual or endometrial cycle consists of the growth of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) and in the accumulation of nutrient substances in it, waiting for an egg to be fertilized. When the egg is not fertilized, as specified, menstruation occurs.

“The two cycles, the ovarian and menstrual, are regulated by hormones produced by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland (both in the brain), as well as the follicles of the ovaries,” says the doctor in Gynecology and Obstetrics and head of the Gynecology service at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

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