Many women have been there: Suddenly, there's some soreness in your breasts, and you go from thinking it's just a little tenderness to "I'm pregnant" or "I have a fatal disease." Thankfully, there are a bunch of innocent reasons why you feel sore, and there are a number of ways to tell if your sore boobs are normal or cause for concern. Before you go digging up information on WebMD and sending yourself into a panic, you might want to ask yourself a few simple questions.
"Breast tenderness is a common complaint by women," says Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN over email. "Hormonal changes involving estrogen is the main culprit in causing breast pain or tenderness. Other common causes of breast pain in both breasts include pregnancy, breastfeeding, heavy cigarette smoking, excessive caffeine drinking, fibrocystic breasts, and diets high in saturated fats."
Of course, if you're ever unsure, it's best to see a doctor, who can better determine why your boobs are feeling off (better safe than sorry). But if your pain is mild and you think you might be freaking out for no reason, consider these nine ways to tell if your breast soreness is just something normal and no cause for alarm.