Breast pain is one of those things, you never know what it means. The only way to know for sure is to get checked out, so when I had been suffering persistent breast pain that’s what I did. I worried, I ignored it, I tried to forget about the appointment and I read loads of stuff online. But the only thing that really helped me was the actual breast clinic appointment itself.
I’ve heard loads of awful things about our NHS but it’s always come up trumps for me. That includes during pregnancy and beyond with my SVT. Once again the NHS came to the rescue; I got an appointment with my GP who checked me over, reassured me and then gave me a referral. Within four weeks I was at the breast clinic seeing a consultant.
What happens at the Breast Clinic?
I arrived pretty much dead on the time that my appointment was scheduled, but there were lots of people in the waiting room. I was then given a form to fill out, checking all of my details, filling in anything missing and giving them my medical history and my family’s. I had contacted my parents to find out if they knew of any breast problems within the family. I figured that whether there was or wasn’t would probably make a difference in the care I received. This is probably true as I overheard a nurse asking if a lady could have a mammogram because of her family history.
I was eventually called to see a consultant and she asked a few questions about the problems, then checked me over. She gave me a thorough examination of both sides, comparing the two to see what is normal for my body.
After seeing her I was given a gown to cover up and sent to another waiting room for an ultrasound – as I’m only 29 I cannot have a mammogram. I waited there for around an hour before I was called. Lots of people came and went in that time. Luckily I had my kindle and read Giovanna Fletcher’s new book Always With Love which I got so in to I was gutted when they called my name!
The ultrasound was really quick, I had to lie on my side while they scanned – the doctor explained what he was seeing on the screen; healthy breast tissue, milk ducts, muscle, veins, ribs, my heart (but of course I’d already seen that when I had my echocardiogram)…
After I’d had the ultrasound I was sent back to the main waiting room and then called in to see the consultant to discuss the results. In total I was at the breast clinic for 2.5 hours.
I got the all clear, there is absolutely nothing untoward in my breast, but it is still sore. The consultant reaffirmed that breast pain is very common and gave me a leaflet which discusses various reasons for breast pain. She also offered some suggestions of ways to treat it including Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) and cutting out tea, coffee, chocolate and red wine. There are a few websites that suggest there is a link between caffeine and breast pain, but as I already drink decaf, eat minimal chocolate and don’t drink red wine I am not going to change my diet. The consultant recommended taking EPO once a day because the suggested dose of 3 times a day made me feel nauseas. If that fails, I may just have to live with it.
I was also granted ‘open access’ to the breast clinic, so that if I see any changes or have any more issues I can call them for an appointment instead of going through my GP.
Breast pain and breastfeeding & conceiving
I was reassured that the pain I experienced would have absolutely no impact on breastfeeding in the future. I was also advised that when we decide to start trying to conceive I should stop taking Evening Primrose Oil.