Are you unhappy with the current state of your breasts? If your breasts have started to look aesthetically unpleasing as they start to droop or sag, there are ways to minimize your discomfort. Breast sagging, or breast ptosis, is a medical condition where the breast loses elasticity, fat deposits, or both as a result of aging, pregnancy, lifestyle factors, smoking, or genetics. It is a normal, but cruel, part of the aging process for most women.
Reasons for Saggy Breasts
Over time, skin gives into the effects of gravity and the skin loses some elasticity. Depending on the size of your breasts, this pull could be large or small and will definitely influence the amount of sag. Research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that having larger breasts was the most important factor in determining breast ptosis, as larger breasts have more mass.
Saggy Breasts Because of Weight Loss
When a woman gains weight, she gains weight everywhere, including in the breast tissue, causing the skin to stretch and in some cases, causing stretch marks. Conversely, when you lose weight, some of the fat lost could come from breast tissue. This can cause the breasts to sag or look deflated as the fat is gone, in addition to the skin losing some elasticity.
Why Are My Boobs Saggy?
Breast volume typically increases during pregnancy and breast size fluctuates during breast-feeding. Research published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that while the risk for breast ptosis increases with each pregnancy, breastfeeding does not make the effects of breast ptosis worse. This means any change in appearance of the breast after having children was due to pregnancy and not breastfeeding. Breastfeeding should never be avoided to reduce the risk of breast ptosis afterwards. The benefits of breastmilk to an infant far outweigh the risk of breast appearance.
How to Fix Saggy Breasts
Even though breast ptosis is a normal part of the aging process, don't give in completely to the effects of time and gravity - fight back with a good fitting bra and some good old fashioned exercise. If all else fails, consult your doctor for more options.
Find a Good Fitting Bra
Regardless of the size of your breasts, finding a well fitting bra can help decrease the risk of stretching out the skin in your breasts. A study published in the European Journal of Aging found that 84 percent of women, aged 45 to 65 were unhappy with the appearance of their breasts. Some of the most important variables in finding a good bra included comfort, support, ability to stay in place, and breast lift.
Exercise for Sagging Breasts
Exercise may help get your saggy breasts back into shape. An article published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery found lack of upper body strength training to be a risk factor for breast ptosis. Focus on chest exercises to tone your pectoral muscles, the muscles underneath your breasts. Perform push-ups daily to work your chest area.
Lie on your back on a workout bench and use weights to perform chest flies and further work your pectoral muscles. Don't forget your sports bra. Good support during any type of exercise is important. Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program, especially if you have recently given birth.
How Much Is a Breast Lift?
Plastic surgery is an expensive and sometimes radical option to fix sagging breasts. Ask your doctor about your options for surgical procedures that can help make your breasts less saggy. Consider a breast lift, or mastopexy, to remove excess skin and reposition your breasts so they are returned to their former perkiness. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a breast lift can be done in an outpatient or hospital setting and usually takes 1 to 3 cuts in the breast for the procedure.
Don't bother with pills or creams that claim to make your breasts firmer. These treatments are proven to have no effect on saggy breasts.
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Abstract: What Is the Most Important Factor of Breast Ptosis? Considerations for Breast Reconstruction Studied with Mastectomy Patients
- Aesthetic Surgery Journal: The effect of breastfeeding on breast aesthetics
- European Journal of Aging: The influence of ageing on bra preferences and self-perception of breasts among mature women
- Annals of Plastic Surgery: Breast Ptosis: Causes and Cure
- U.S. National Library of Medicine - Medline Plus: Breast Lift