Which hormone – estrogen or progesterone – is responsible for breast pain just prior to a womans menstrual cycle?
There are conflicting studies on this as you can see from the abstracts below. Often progesterone is cited as the culprit probably because breast tenderness is a symptom of the luteal phase when both hormones are present in higher levels. However, progesterone has also been used with success to treat cyclical breast pain. The best I can conclude is that it is the elevated estrogen levels in the second half of the cycle that are primarily responsible for the cyclic breast pain. However progesterone may be associated with noncyclic breast pain perhaps by some enhancing effect. Double-blind controlled trial of progesterone vaginal cream treatment for cyclical mastodynia in women with benign breast disease. Nappi C, Affinito P, Di Carlo C, Esposito G, Montemagno U. Cattedra di Endocrinologia Ginecologica, Universita di Torino, Italy. J Endocrinol Invest 1992 Dec;15(11):801-6. The clinical effectiveness and safety of vaginal micronized progesterone treatment in mastodynia were evaluated in