It's normal for your breasts to sag as you age. The tissue, ligaments and skin that hold the breasts up weaken due to a combination of gravity and loss of elasticity, causing the breasts to sag and lose their more youthful appearance. However, it's also possible for the breasts to sag at a fairly young age.
The cause of breasts sagging at the age of 22 can be the result of a variety of different factors. Increased body mass index, larger breast size and smoking are some of the more common causes of breast sagging at almost any age, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Even sports that cause the breasts to bounce can contribute to the sagging of your breasts.
The reason that any one of these factors cause the breasts to sag comes down to the health of the ligaments and skin surrounding your breasts. Increased BMI and larger breast sizes are more vulnerable to the effects of gravity, pulling breast tissue downwards and causing the ligaments to weaken and surrounding skin to lose elasticity. The continual up and down motion from sports can also weaken the ligaments, leading to the sagging of your breasts. Smoking affects the health of your skin, causing it to lose its elasticity, which affects its ability to properly support breast tissue.
A common misconception is that breastfeeding can cause your breasts to droop or sag at a young age. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons explains that breastfeeding has no real impact on the shape or size of breasts. Even women who've breastfed more than one child aren't affected by the actual process of breastfeeding.
To avoid premature sagging, invest in a bra that properly supports your breasts. A good bra distributes the weight of breast tissue across your shoulders and back, which could reduce or delay sagging. You should also wear sports bras during athletic pursuits to help reduce the impact of the motion. Maintaining a proper weight through a well-balanced diet and not smoking is also beneficial.
Besides wearing a bra, the only way to treat sagging breasts is a cosmetic procedure, indicates the Health Services at Columbia University. Breast lifts and breast augmentations can both add a certain amount of perkiness to sagging breasts. This doesn't necessarily mean that your breast will never sag again. Gravity affects implants just like breast tissue, so results are temporary but often prolonged.