When you enter puberty and your ovaries first start producing the female hormone estrogen, your breasts will also begin growing — both in the form of fat tissue and milk ducts. Girls will usually begin noticing these changes around the same time they grow pubic hair and hair under their arms, with the very first change being a very slight “bump” that raises the nipples. As puberty goes on and a girl starts menstruating and ovulating, the breasts will change even more. Glands and lobules need to develop in order to enable a female to eventually breastfeed, and the breasts will grow bigger.
During these developmental stages, it is completely normal for your breasts to feel a little tender. When you get your period, your breasts normally feel heavier and slightly achy, something that is likely to remain familiar to you throughout your reproductive age. Many girls will also experience a slight itching in their developing breasts, which, again, is normal.
As your breasts — which are still very new and unfamiliar to you — develop, you are quite likely to be somewhat surprised and even worried about this new mass of tissue inside your body. It might feel like you have an “alien mass” inside your body, which feels hard and a little lumpy. That is normal, and if the hard tissue makes up your whole breast, you most likely have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Breasts Change Throughout The Menstrual Cycle
You may also like to know that your breasts will change throughout your menstrual cycle. Under the influence of the hormone progesterone, women’s breasts are slightly bigger and more tender during the second half of the menstrual cycle, so after ovulation. Many women also notice that their breasts feel more lumpy than usual while they are menstruating.
Should You Be Worried About Breast Lumps?
Should you, however, feel a particular lump in one of your breasts that does not go away after you have had your period, then it is good to consult a gynecologist.
Lumps that might be cancerous have a few characteristics that you will want to watch out for. Cancerous lumps are most likely to be firm and hard and fixed in one place, meaning it will not move. They won’t easily be found. Such lumps may be accompanied by nipple discharge or dimpled skin on the breast, and you will almost never have an identical lump on the other breast.
Non-cancerous lumps, on the other hand, will typically be easily found, but will move around with pressure. They are more likely to be soft, numerous in number, and identical on both sides of the breast. Non-cancerous lumps related to the normal menstrual cycle will subside after your period.
Note that the vast majority of breast lumps are not cancerous, especially in adolescent females. If you have a lump, you should get it checked out, but there is no need to be very worried.
See A Gynecologist For Reassurance
If you are at all concerned about your breasts, whether you feel a lump or not, it is always good to go for a checkup. All girls are advised to see a gynecologist for the first time before the age of 15. You usually won’t have an internal examination, but you will have a chat with your gynecologist about your body and anything you are worried about, and your gynecologist can check your breasts for you and reassure you that everything is fine.
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