Health & Beauty

Breast Pain After COVID-19 Vaccine: What to Know

This article will explore how the COVID-19 vaccine can cause breast pain and changes to a mammogram, why you shouldn’t delay your mammogram after a COVID-19 vaccine, and when you need to worry about breast pain.

What causes breast pain and lymph node changes after a COVID-19 vaccine?

In the months after the COVID-19 vaccines became available, people who’d been vaccinated — particularly women — began reporting breast pain or swelling and pain near their armpits.

This pain often only appeared after vaccination and usually in the breast that was on the same side of the body that the vaccine was given.

Breast pain after COVID-19 vaccine

When this side effect was first reported, it was suspected to be caused by a normal immune reaction to the vaccine.

This side effect happens — although rarely — with other types of vaccines, too, but was reported more frequently after COVID-19 vaccination.

Your lymph nodes are part of the immune system and help collect and destroy bacteria and other problematic invaders like cancer cells. Swelling of the lymph nodes near the breasts isn’t common outside of being a breast cancer symptom, so the appearance of this as a side effect caused initial alarm.

Mammogram abnormalities after COVID-19 vaccine

A COVID-19 vaccination may change the shape and size of lymph nodes in the armpit area.

In the beginning, women were advised to delay mammograms and other breast cancer screenings by 4 to 6 weeks after vaccination in order to avoid unnecessary concern over this side effect. However, it quickly became clear that the swelling that developed after the vaccine could take months to resolve.

In one case study from Japan, a woman was still experiencing swelling of the lymph node in the breast on her vaccinated side 6 months after it first appeared.

Given the risk of waiting or delaying routine breast examinations and screenings (especially if you’re at higher risk), it’s now recommended that mammograms and other screenings not be delayed following a COVID-19 vaccination.

However, don’t be surprised if you’re asked about whether you received a COVID-19 vaccine and when during a screening mammogram. This is because your radiology technician may notice a change in the size or shape of your lymph node from previous screenings.

Additional images may also be collected to confirm any findings are vaccine-related and not due to any other problems.

How can you tell the difference between a vaccine side effect and symptoms of breast cancer?

It’s not likely that you — or even your doctor — will be able to tell the difference between vaccine side effects, breast cancer, or other causes of breast pain with the naked eye.

Imaging studies like mammograms and ultrasounds are usually used to examine what is under the surface of your breast tissue. In many cases, breast cancer develops with few or no symptoms, so a sore armpit or breast pain may come from a variety of other causes.

When symptoms do appear with breast cancer, they usually include:

  • a new lump that you can feel in your breast or armpit
  • thickened skin or swelling in your breast
  • dimpling of the skin on your breast
  • irritation or redness on the skin of your breast
  • changes in the texture or shape of your nipple
  • flaky skin on the breast or nipple
  • discharge from your nipple that isn’t breast milk
  • changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • breast pain
What are the other possible causes of breast pain?

Beyond vaccinations or breast cancer, there are a number of factors that can cause breast pain, tenderness, or soreness. These include:

  • your menstrual cycle
  • pre-menopause or menopause
  • other hormonal changes
  • trauma or injury
  • cysts
  • infections like mastitis
  • tissue changes like fibrosis
  • smoking
  • certain medications
  • muscular injuries


Probiotic supplementation can support overall gut health, which can then support immune health.

As such, probiotic supplements can be used as one part of an immune-boosting protocol to help reduce the likelihood of infection. They may also reduce the incidence of some COVID-19 symptoms.

However, probiotic supplements do not take the place of proper vaccinations, nor do they function as a cure.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Copyright © 2020 Healthy Fit Magazine. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by Wordpress.

Copyright © 2015 Flex Mag Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by Wordpress.

To Top