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Address: 27 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 8EN
Tel: 020 7101 3377

Client in consultation about the Pelvic Ultrasound Procedure

The Body’s Hormonal effects on Breast Tissue

The hormones produced by the pelvic organs can affect breast tissueA Pelvic Scan is a gynaecological Ultrasound assessment of your pelvic organs: womb, lining of the womb, ovaries, fallopian tubes and surrounding structures. This type of scan aims to rule out any structural cause that might explain the symptoms you are experiencing, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, infrequent periods, difficulty conceiving, recurrent miscarriages, bloating, generalized pelvic pain or any other related issue. If you have family history of any pelvic issues, you may also wish to have regular check-ups to ensure normal appearances and general structural health of your pelvic organs.

Hormonal Effects on Breast Tissue

  • During Puberty: Estrogen is the primary hormone responsible for the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, including the growth of breasts. It stimulates the growth of the ductal system in the breasts. Progesterone supports the formation and growth of the glandular tissue in the breasts, which is necessary for lactation.

  • During the Menstrual Cycle: Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels during the menstrual cycle cause changes in breast tissue, which can lead to tenderness, swelling, or a feeling of fullness in the breasts in the premenstrual phase. These symptoms usually resolve after menstruation begins.

  • During Pregnancy: Levels of estrogen and progesterone increase significantly to prepare the breasts for milk production. This leads to further enlargement of the breasts and development of the milk-producing glands. Other hormones, such as prolactin and human placental lactogen, also play roles in preparing the breasts for breastfeeding.

  • During Menopause: As a woman approaches menopause, the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone. This change can cause the breasts to lose their glandular tissue and become more composed of fatty tissue, leading to changes in size and firmness. The decrease in these hormones also reduces the monthly hormonal fluctuations, and thus, the cyclical breast discomfort many women experience during their reproductive years may diminish or disappear.

Hormones and Breast Health Concerns

  • Fibrocystic Breast Changes: Hormonal fluctuations are linked to fibrocystic changes in the breast, a benign condition characterized by lumpy, tender breasts. These changes are more common during the reproductive years and can be influenced by the menstrual cycle.

  • Breast Cancer Risk: Exposure to estrogen and progesterone over a long period or in high amounts can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Factors that increase exposure include early menstruation, late menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and having children later in life or not at all.

  • Gynecomastia in Men: Although less commonly discussed, men also have estrogen in their bodies, and imbalances between estrogen and testosterone can lead to gynecomastia, or the development of breast tissue in males.

Conclusion

Pelvic organs produce hormones that can influence changes throughout a woman’s life and play a crucial role in the development and function of breast tissue. Awareness of how hormonal fluctuations impact the breasts can help in understanding normal changes, recognizing potential concerns, and making informed decisions about managing breast health. Regular breast health checks and consultations with healthcare providers are important for maintaining breast health and addressing any issues that may arise.

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Address: 27 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 8EN

Telephone020 7101 3377