We wake up with them every morning. See them the last thing at night. But how much do you really know about your bosom buddies?
Purpose of Your Breast
Your breasts are special organs found on the anterior chest wall. Breasts are more developed in females because their main function is to produce milk. This is to nourish a baby.
The breast consists of many glands that develop with puberty and as you mature. Important female hormones like estrogen as well as progesterone promote growth and changes. This takes place particularly when pregnant or during menstruation.
Mammary glands are contained beneath a superficial layer of skin above your chest muscles. They drain through many ducts via the nipples. Areola is the dark circular area around the nipple.
It is important to understand the normal anatomy as well as function of your breast. Noticing any abnormalities can be treated early.
Important Facts About Your Bosom Buddies
Your breast can be a different size compared to the other. But yet bra cups are the same. Asymmetry is an uncomfortable topic.
Shapes can Differ too
Those bosom buddies may sit high on your chest or hang low. They may have pointy nipples or smoother and not so prominent. People have gotten some crazy images of what breasts are ‘supposed’ to look like.
Of course if you should experience a change it is best to consult your physician. For example: your breast or a nipple should suddenly start to grow or alter its shape in an unusual way.
Majority Breast Lumps Aren’t Cancerous
We are so fixed on a breast lump being cancer (I was there). Typically women feel this lump or thickening and quickly assume the worse.
Lumps in the breast are quite common and likely not cancer. Cysts and benign tumors can grow in the breast as well. When your hormone levels fluctuate, this can present changes in breast tissue.
So your breast may feel lumpier during your period. Finding a lump is something to check out with your doctor. But try not to freak out before you get your results (I know I was there).
Mysterious Breast Pain
A common concern is breast pain. Women tend to feel something is wrong because friends don’t relate. But it could be there’s just no talk about the pain.
Breast pain usually is linked to fluctuating hormones. This tends to be worse before as well as during the menstrual cycle. On the other hand there can be pain not related to your period.
It can be very frustrating and often there is no particular cause found. If your breast pain or tenderness is interfering with your daily activities you should consult your doctor. A workup with an ultrasound can be done.
Your physician can determine whether there are any medications or other factors that could be causing your pain. Still the good news is most breast pain is not connected to cancer.
Boobs are Getting Bigger
We have been given more bra options these days. This gives you the availability to shop for that appropriate sized bra.
Breasts Reduction on Rise
For some women breast reduction is a smart choice:
- Back and neck pain
- Rashes under breast
- Painful bra strap grooves
- Weight and size
Physicians say this surgery is usually covered by insurance. The patient can go home the same day. However, full recovery could take a couple weeks.
Dense Means Higher Cancer Risk
When a woman has dense breasts this makes it difficult to accurately read the mammogram. Recent studies confirmed earlier suspicions that dense breast tissue is more likely to become cancerous. Those with dense breasts also seem to have bigger tumors on average.
Large Breast not at Higher Risk
You don’t have more of a risk for breast cancer with large breasts compared to those with very small breasts. Even men with very little breast tissue can get cancer. Risk factors for breast cancer don’t include breast size.
On the other hand lack of physical activity and weight gain can increase your risk. So if your breasts are larger due to these reasons that could play a role.
New Moms Produce Milk
During those first few days following delivery, the new mom’s breasts make this thick substance rich with nutrients called colostrum. Around day 3 or day 4 after birth, she begins producing actual milk.
This happens whether or not she chooses to breastfeed. If she isn’t breastfeeding her breasts will adapt not making any milk. Although while breastfeeding they’ll continue as long as there’s a demand.
Breast Changes With Baby
With pregnancy breasts will look different (obviously huh). Breastfeeding may also cause deflating or a lower position. But they will probably bounce back after a few months to what they looked like before.
Breast Cancer Home Test
Experts warn this may not tell the whole story and could leave out important factors. You shouldn’t neglect your screenings and prevention strategies. As well as a healthy diet and lifestyle is still important.
Other than surgery there’s not much that can be done about the size of breasts. Weight loss however may make a difference. Females trying to lose extra pounds were surprised that the first place they lost was in their breasts.
Go figure, frustrating when you’d rather see weight loss in your stomach or thigh area. But for those plagued with pain and discomfort a welcome change. So if you don’t like your large breasts you could try losing weight.
On the other hand the only way to increase breast size is pretty much surgery. Those creams, pills and other gimmicks won’t change the actual size. Pumping up those pecs can change the position where breasts sit. This also gives the effect of looking perkier.
Discharge From Nipple
There is no need to panic if you see fluid coming from your nipple. This could be related to normal hormonal fluctuation.
Discharge may be:
- Light brown
To get a better look at the color you can blot with white tissue. The discharge can even be very dark similar to motor oil. Still this could be a normal condition called fibrocystic change.
More importantly if an unusual discharge last for more than a couple days you should consult your physician. More concerning is a fluid that is clear or bloody, this should be checked immediately. Often the cause isn’t serious but if left untreated could be dangerous.
Itching and Inflammation
Itchy or irritated nipples are extremely common. Common culprits:
- Dry skin
- Friction during workout
- New laundry detergent
But the symptoms can be a sign of breast disease or cancer. A biopsy is done.
An infection of the breast tissue is called Mastitis.
- Blocked milk duct
- Nipple piercing
- Cracked skin
Treatment with antibiotics usually takes this away. However when symptoms don’t respond to treatment a specialist is suggested.
Moisturizing Your Breast
No Best Bra
As long as your bra provides reasonable comfort in addition some support. This doesn’t mean you still won’t want to remove it at the end of your day. But it shouldn’t need to be tugged, readjusted or cause pain.
A few other facts, there is no scientific research saying under-wire bras cause cancer. Nor that wearing a bra can prevent the breast sagging with age. A bra can offer support while you have it on.
Sport Bras Improve Performance
You don’t have to be distracted by the girls bouncing during your workout. The right sports bra can keep them in tacked. Most active women know a common complaint is breast pain with this activity.
Not only is bouncing uncomfortable but finding a supportive sports bra can help. As well as studies found when women wearing high support bras ran on a treadmill this improved their running mechanics.
Wrapping it up
There you have it. Generally speaking our bodies are never quite symmetrical, this is nothing to be concerned about. Breasts normally come in all sizes and shapes.
Females are unique. We have these buddies to take care of. Know what is normal in size and shape for you especially. Keep up to date with medical screenings as well as preventative measures for breast cancer.
What surprised you in the article about your breasts?
Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fifteen years.