Ganglion under the armpit during pregnancy: should I consult?

You have detected a small ball more or less painful under your armpit? This is a very common phenomenon in pregnant women and usually without the slightest gravity. Whether it's really a ganglion or not ...

Boule under the armpit: not necessarily a ganglion at the pregnant woman

  • When we detect a ball under the armpit, the natural reflex is to think immediately of a ganglion, but did you know that the underarms can house accessory mammary glands? In this type of case, we are talking more specifically about axillary mammary glands. This is a very common and minor phenomenon. Generally, it goes completely unnoticed, but sometimes, due to the hormonal upheavals of pregnancy, the gland or glands begin to increase in volume. Usually, an inflated axillary mammary gland results in a soft ball, painless to the touch and well defined contours. Its size may be more or less important from one woman to another.

And if it's really a ganglion?

  • Lymph nodes are naturally present in many parts of the body, including the armpits, but they are so small that they are not noticed in normal times. In case of swelling of an armpit ganglion, it is called axillary lymphadenopathy.
  • In the vast majority of cases, the latter simply means that you have caught a mild infection. A small skin sore can also explain lymphadenopathy. In practice, the swelling of the ganglion is due to the overproduction of white blood cells to fight infectious agents (eg, viruses, bacteria). Usually, the swollen ganglion is quite painful to the touch and resorbs itself within a few days.
  • Much more rarely, axillary lymphadenopathy can also reveal a more important pathology (ex .: auto-immune disease), sometimes even a breast tumor, benign or malignant.

Ganglion swollen during pregnancy: take medical advice anyway

  • As said above, the risks of serious pathologies are really very low, but, as a precaution, it is always better to seek medical advice in case of discovery of a ball under the armpit, especially if it does not disappear of herself quickly.
  • Often, a simple clinical examination is enough, but, in the slightest doubt, your doctor may prescribe additional tests such as a blood test or a breast ultrasound (NB: ultrasound used during breast ultrasound - such as pregnancy ultrasounds - are safe for the fetus).

What treatments?

  • Most of the time, a swollen ganglion or an inflated axillary mammary gland does not require any special treatment. In other cases, various treatments may be considered depending on the underlying pathology, most often of a medicinal nature.
  • Surgical procedures are reserved for the most severe diseases, although they can also be used simply to remove axillary mammary glands that have become too bulky, so as not to feel any discomfort under the arm.