Sore boobs? One of Mother Nature’s not-so-funny little jokes on women, but thankfully they are rarely a sign of anything serious. Most boob pain appears in the final days of a menstrual cycle (along with the insomnia, bloating, spots, junk food cravings and mood swings), and peaks the day before the period begins and miraculously disappears over the following days. This soreness can be achy, throbbing, stabbing, dull, sharp, in just one breast or even in the armpit (another one of Mother Nature’s little jokes), and its medical name is cyclic mastalgia.

Basically, it’s what happens when breast tissue responds to hormones. Ducts become enlarged and swell, trapping fluids. Some hormones that are involved in menstrual cramping also have an inflammatory effect on the breasts. And it’s no fun. What can we do?

• Cutting back on caffeine helps. That means less coffee, caffeinated fizzy drinks and chocolate. Try herbal teas or simply enjoy an apple for a healthy pick-me-up; studies have shown that an apple is as effective as a coffee

• Do the girls a favour and get a professional fitting for a supportive bra. And don’t even think about running or doing aerobics without a proper sports bra 

women with sore boobs exercising

• Body fat manufactures oestrogen. For adult women, a healthy BMI is 19-24. Try to stay as close to this as possible, to keep hormones balanced

• High fibre foods such as wholegrains, fruit and veg help the body eliminate excess oestrogen (they also help with that awful pre-period crankiness and uncontrollable desire for fast food with chocolate on top; high fibre foods travel down the digestive tract slower, so we feel fuller and don’t experience those mania-inducing insulin dips)

• Vitamin B6 helps regulate hormones. Find it in chicken and turkey; chickpeas and lentils; beef, avocados, and nuts and seeds

• Cleanmarine For Women is specially formulated to keep us hormonally balanced. It contains B6 and other B Vitamins that help us manage stress, as well as Omega 3s which support good vision, eye and brain health. In fact, they are considered ‘essential’ for every cell in the body, making them a self-care basic

Know your breasts. Examine them yourself regularly. Make note of how they look and feel at various times of the month. If you feel anything is unusual, don’t hesitate to see your doctor; he or she has seen it all before and will arrange tests as appropriate or simply put your mind at ease.