Are you unhappy with the current state of your breasts? If your breasts have begun 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. Saggy boobs are a normal, but cruel, part of the aging process for most women.
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.
Gravity and Elasticity
Over time, skin gives in to 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 the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in September 2016 found that having larger breasts was the most important factor in determining breast ptosis, as larger breasts have more mass.
Weight Loss and Saggy Breasts
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 loss 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 breastfeeding. However, a ResearchGate study published in 2018 found that pregnancy was not a significant factor for breast ptosis, while age, weight and BMI were more leading causes. Also, women of menopausal age and women who started wearing a bra young were more at risk for breast ptosis.
Buy a Bra That Fits
Regardless of the size of your breasts, finding a good-fitting bra can help decrease the risk of stretching out the skin in your breasts. A 2014 study published in the European Journal of Aging found that 84 percent of women, aged 45 to 65, are unhappy with the appearance of their breasts. Some of the most important variables in finding a good bra include comfort, support, ability to stay in place and breast lift.
Read more: Can You Tone Saggy Breasts with Exercise?
Work Your Pecs and Shoulders
Exercise and improved posture may help get your saggy breasts back into shape. Focus on chest exercises to tone your pectoral muscles — the muscles underneath your breasts. Perform push-ups daily to work your chest area. And work on strengthening the muscles of your back and shoulders says ExRxnet. Scapular squeezes — squeezing your shoulder blades together for three sets of 10 reps — are an effective way to square off rounded shoulders and lift your whole 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.
Read more: How to Shape the Side of Pec Muscles
Is Surgery an Option?
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 one to three 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"
- ResearchGate: "A Study on Predisposing Factors to Breast Ptosis"
- European Journal of Aging: "The Influence of Ageing on Bra Preferences and Self-perception of Breasts Among Mature Women"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus: "Breast Lift"
- ExRx.net: "Common Postural Impairments"