My Breasts Remind Me Of Raising My Children Just When I Got Used To One Babes Latest Developmental Stage Be It Sitting Up Walking Or Sleeping Through The Night Id Be Forced To Adjust To Some New Normal
After multiple pregnancies and nursing stints, weight gains and losses, followed by breast lift surgery six years ago, I settled into a slightly scarred and more mature breast life. But having gone through the delightful female physical state known as peri-menopause , I find myself adapting to yet another shape and size of breasts: post-menopausal breasts.
The strangest part of my most recent mammary transformation is that it reminded me of going through puberty except backwards. First fluctuating hormone levels led to breast sensitivity and pain. I even found it tough to wear a bra at times. Then they began to swell. I assumed this was temporary but was wrong. They had just gotten bigger. Im irritated that I can no longer wear some of my most exquisite and expensive pieces of lingerie. I had to move up another bra cup size. I’ve slowly replaced my entire bra wardrobe. Like most women, I anticipated the inevitable sag, but who knew that one in five women grow a bigger pair? No surprise that many of us choose breast reductions in our senior years.
What about you? Do you have concerns about changes to your breasts in menopause? Are you shocked by the size of your post-menopausal breasts?
Breast Sagging & Shrinking
The first one is the one that we all hate, the one that we all do not want to have to face, and that is the fact that our breast size and shape can change. Our breasts can start to sag. They lose their pertness and, also, they can shrink. So, a lot of women find that their breast size decreases as they go through the menopause.
And, especially for women who are small breasted anyway, this can have quite a big dent on their confidence and also, for many of us, our breasts are a big part of our femininity. When they start to change and we feel they don’t look as good as they did, then that can have a big impact on our self-worth, how sexy we feel, and that also links to our relationships with our partners as well.
Again, with this one, it’s all to do with low oestrogen. This can affect the connective tissue which is basically the strengthening compounds that are in cells that help to keep everything strong and firm. So, if these decrease, then just because of the natural shape of the breasts, they will start to fall downwards. They’re affected by gravity.
Risk Factors You Can Change
- Not being physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Being overweight or obese after menopause. Older women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those at a normal weight.
- Taking hormones. Some forms of hormone replacement therapy taken during menopause can raise risk for breast cancer when taken for more than five years. Certain oral contraceptives also have been found to raise breast cancer risk.
- Reproductive history. Having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise breast cancer risk.
- Drinking alcohol. Studies show that a womans risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks.
Research suggests that other factors such as smoking, being exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer, and changes in other hormones due to night shift working also may increase breast cancer risk.
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
Weight gain and loss is one of the many reasons its recommended you go for a bra fitting regularly . This is because the fat component of a womans breasts can make it a body area shell experience weight gain or weight loss.
However, its worth noting that it is difficult-to-impossible to target body fat gain or loss to a specific body area. And if youre a healthy weight, we definitely dont encourage weight loss or gain simply to impact the size of your breasts. Remember, if you lose or gain weight it will be distributed throughout your body, affecting other areas as well as breasts.
Certain exercises can also add strength to your chest muscles, which may impact the perkiness of your breasts.
How To Wrangle Big Breasts
If your girls are big and you want to tame them, pronto, here are a few possibilities to consider:
- Buy a minimizer braone that fits: Theres a difference, you know, between buying a large bra with too small a cup vs. a smaller size with a larger cup. Find more info here.
- Chest Binders: These are like sports bras gone wild: they reduce your bra size by compacting your breasts. Some women find it uncomfortable, but theres an art to doing it so you get the best shape possible.
- Breast reduction surgery: If youre suffering true emotional and physical discomfort due to too-big breasts, this could be a choice for you. Here are some options to think through.
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Why Do Womens Breasts Grow As They Age
Hormones are one of the main reasons womens breasts grow as they age, he explains. As the menopause approaches, oestrogen levels drop sometimes quite steeply and the breasts go through a process called involution, where the glands that produce milk shut down, and breast tissue is replaced by fat. Thats
My Cups Runneth Over: What Menopause Has Done To My Boobs
Robbie Caploe always enjoyed being well-endowed….but what’s going on with her girls since she hit menopause is a whole other thing. Here, she gets the issue off her chest.
My breasts are choking me.
They didnt used to. Back in the day, they were luscious, round 34Ds, enough to make me feel womanly. They were good toppers, regardless of occasion: a T-shirt, a dress, a nightie. As a teenager, I used to do a routine for my mother that consisted of me in a full slip with one strap sliding off while I pretended to be a cheated-on wife from a 70s Bertolucci movie: Carlo, dont leave me, Id cry, tossing my head. My mother would giggle, while my brother walked by and rolled his eyes. But trust me, the breasts made it all work.
Every time I lie downmy favorite position in which to readI suddenly have two pushy DDs sliding into my neck.
Thats why its come as such a shock that as I careened into my fifties , the expansion of my breasts has been a stealthy development, akin to Facebooks constant algorithm changes.
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Why Do Womens Breasts Get Bigger With Age
Many women find that their breasts look smaller as they get older gravity and loss of skin elasticity are mostly to blame here, and theres also a genetic factor.
But, if youre finding the opposite, thats also completely normal.
The main reasons why womens breasts get bigger as they get older are:
- Weight gain or weight redistribution
- Fluctuating hormone levels due to menopause.
Chances Are Youre Wearing The Wrong Size Bra
Intimacy founder Susan Nethero says that even though womens breast shape, size, and perkiness or sagginess change about six times throughout their lives, women dont get fitted often enough to ensure that their bras are properly evolving with their breasts.
The most common problem stylists at Intimacy see is bras that are too big around, and too small in the cup. You want the bra to be firm around the back so that the breasts get lifted up, making you look more proportionate, Nethero says. When the back of the bra gets larger, so does the cup, so youll most likely want to go down a cup size. For instance, if youve been wearing a 34C, your size is probably more accurately a 32D.
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Treating And Managing Breast Changes
Many breast changes are a normal part of the aging process.
If youre significantly distressed by the changes in your breast tissue, you may want to consider cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery can replace the fullness of the breasts as well as the position of the nipples.
If you want to treat stretch marks, theres no current definitive treatment. Some topical products may be useful in minimizing their appearance.
In some studies, the herb Centella asiatica and the prescription medication tretinoin were found to be effective in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Laser treatments are available as well.
Discuss these options with your doctor to find out which is best for you.
Remember, these aging changes in your breasts are normal. You dont have to treat them if you dont want to. Instead, embrace them!
How Low Estrogen Affects Your Breasts During Menopause
Low estrogen during menopause can cause many changes in your life. It may even affect the appearance of your breasts.
Hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness low estrogen during menopause can cause a lot of uncomfortable changes. Most of us know about these common symptoms of menopause. However, low estrogen may also cause our breasts to change as well. Learn about some common breast changes during menopause and how your hormone doctor may be able to help.
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When To See A Doctor
Its important that all women check the health of their breasts and are aware of any changes that they notice. This can help you identify any lumps or changes in your breast which could be a sign of a more serious condition like breast cancer.
Specialist in breast cancer, Dr. Debra G. Wechter advises all women to perform a breast self-exam once a month about 3-5 days after the start of their period.9
There are some other reasons to visit your doctor for a checkup if changes in your breast size are causing you concern. For example, if you notice that one breast is growing larger than the other one, or if you experience pain and tenderness in your breasts that wont go away, then a visit to your health practitioner will help to put your mind at rest.
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Breast Changes During Menopause Are Normal
Though breast changes might have an impact on your self-esteem, rest assured that it is normal. Almost all menopausal women will notice some breast changes from menopause when they look in the mirror.
The greater cause for concern is the increased risk of cysts, fibroids, and other abnormal growths in the breast tissue. Women can develop abnormal growths at any age, but menopausal women are certainly in a higher risk category. But if you notice a breast lump, dont wait to be offered to screen see your health care provider rule out breast cancer. Breast cancer is most common in women over 50.
You may feel discomfort in one breast or both breasts. Not all women experience breast discomfort in the same way. Breast pain in the postmenopausal years may be coming from the chest wall, arthritis of the spine, or, only rarely, from cancer.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get gynecomastia?
- Should I switch medications to stop breast enlargement?
- What is the best treatment for gynecomastia?
- How long will my breasts be enlarged?
- How can I prevent getting enlarged breasts again?
- Should I get screened for breast cancer?
- Should I watch for signs of complications?
How Does Menopause Affect Your Breasts
So, why on earth does the menopause affect breast tissue so much? It’s one of the things that we’re really fighting against as we go through the menopause. Our breast tissue is very, very sensitive to oestrogen. It has a lot of oestrogen-receptor sites in it. So, when our oestrogen starts to fall, as we approach the menopause and go through the menopause, this can have quite a marked effect on the size, shape, and structure of our breasts.
Now, the most common breast symptom that tends to happen during the menopause is breast tenderness and discomfort. But, there are other breast issues that can happen so I thought I would go through those ones today.
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Stages Of Breast Development
Breasts develop in stages of a womans life the time prior to birth, puberty, childbearing years, and menopause. There will also be changes in breast development within these stages during menstruation as well as during pregnancies.
Birth stage: Breast development begins while a female baby is still a fetus. By the time shes born, she will have already started forming nipples and milk ducts.
Puberty stage: Normal puberty in girls can start as early as 8 years old and as late as 13 years old. When your ovaries start creating estrogen, this results in your breast tissues gaining fat. This additional fat causes your breasts to begin to grown larger. This is also when the milk ducts grow. Once you start ovulating and having a menstrual cycle, the milk ducts will form glands. These are called secretory glands.
Menopause stage: Usually women begin to reach menopause around age 50, but it can start earlier for some. During menopause, your body wont produce as much estrogen, and that will affect your breasts. They wont be as elastic and may decrease in size, which can cause sagging. However, if youre being treated with hormone therapy, you may experience the same symptoms you had during menstrual cycles.
Why Are My Breasts Getting Bigger After Menopause
It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about menopause symptoms, but changes to your breasts are really common. They can happen throughout perimenopause, and even after menopause itself.
Some women find that their breasts get smaller, but if youre one of the many women asking why are my breasts getting bigger after menopause?, we have some answers right here.
In this article
- Why do womens breasts get bigger with age?
- Do your breasts get bigger when you go through menopause?
- Sore breasts during menopause
- How can I reduce my breast size after menopause?
- Why are my breasts getting bigger after menopause? The final word
When Should You Seek Medical Attention For Swollen Breasts
When swelling persists out of sync with your period or is accompanied by a fever, pus, or redness, you should see a physician. Swelling of both breasts is less worrisome than swelling of one breast. If you have other symptoms like a prolonged cough, fever, or chills, you should seek medical attention. If you have a diffuse rash or bleeding from the nipple you should also seek medical attention.
How Does Menopause Affect Breast Size
When estrogen levels drop before, during, and after menopause, the milk systems inside the body shut down and the glandular tissue inside the breasts starts to shrink. In other words, the tissue becomes less dense, more fatty, and starts to sag. All of these involuntary actions tend to change the breast size and shape.
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Growths In The Breast Tissue
The chances of developing growths in the breast, such as fibroids, cysts, and tumors, increases with age. In most cases, these lumps are noncancerous, and . However, it is important to get a doctor to check any new lumps.
Noncancerous lumps can include the following:
- Fibroids are benign growths consisting of fibrous connective tissue.
- Cysts are round, tender lumps that contain fluid. A complex cyst can contain both solid and liquid components.
- Ductal or lobular hyperplasia occurs when the cells that line the milk ducts grow excessively.
- Fibroadenomas refer to benign tumors comprising glandular and connective tissue. According to the American Cancer Society , fibroadenomas most often affect females in their 20s and 30s.
- Intraductal papillomas are benign tumors that grow inside the milk ducts. They often cause bloody discharge from the nipples.
- Adenosis causes enlarged lobules in the breast. These sometimes contain calcium deposits, which can make them resemble cancer on a mammogram.
What Breast Changes Happen At Puberty
As a girl approaches her teen years, the first visible signs of breast development begin. When the ovaries start to produce and release estrogen, fat in the connective tissue starts to collect. This causes the breasts to enlarge. The duct system also starts to grow. Often these breast changes happen at the same that pubic hair and armpit hair appear.
Once ovulation and menstruation begin, the maturing of the breasts begins with the formation of secretory glands at the end of the milk ducts. The breasts and duct system continue to grow and mature, with the development of many glands and lobules. The rate at which breasts grow is different for each young woman.
|Female breast developmental stages|
|Mature adult breast. The breast becomes rounded and only the nipple is raised.|
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We Want Bigger Perkier Boobs
For the past decade, breast augmentation has been the most sought-after form of plastic surgery, with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting that 286,000 were performed in 2014. But people are trending toward the perky rather than large side of things. Breast lifts increased by 75 percent from 2000 to 2014, according to the ASPS.