The most common hormonal breast soreness comes from an increase in the level of oestrogen before a period. This causes milk ducts and glands to swell, trapping fluid in the breasts. Many women have tenderness or pain in the lead-up to a period, and sometimes right through it. Nov 28, - The pain does not come and go in a menstrual cycle time-loop. Mastitis - if the pain is caused by infection within the breast, the woman may have a fever, feel ill (malaise), some breast swelling and tenderness and the painful area may feel warm.