Gravity can be a wonderful thing. Without gravity, the earth would cease to revolve around the sun. And we all know the consequences of that. However, if we’re looking at aging, gravity can be a real….Downer. Yes, the pun was intended.
Sagging or drooping of breasts is a natural, inevitable process that happens to almost all women at some point. Although it’s a part of life, it’s just plain depressing to watch gravity take its toll on one of the most beautiful, uniquely feminine parts of our bodies.
If you’ve ever wondered why breasts sag, think about this: Breasts do NOT have muscles in them. They have ligaments and connective tissue. Those ligaments and skin stretch as gravity pulls on the breast tissue, causing the breast to droop. This depends on the elasticity of your skin and of your ligaments, as determined by your genes and diet, and also on normal aging processes. Large breasts are obviously most susceptible to sagging quickly, along with breasts of women who engage in high intensity sports, but neglect to wear proper sports bras. They do make a difference, so invest in some good ones!
The most common reason for breast sagging is called breast involution, and it happens when the milk-making system inside the breast shrinks because it is not needed anymore. This happens either after weaning, or right after pregnancy if the woman does not breastfeed at all, or during menopause. The tissues inside the breast shrink, but the surrounding skin doesn’t, leaving the breast looking saggy. Although after weaning, a woman’s body does usually deposit some fat back to the breast tissue; but the breast still looks saggy.
Another culprit for breast sagging is weight loss. While it may be great for the hips, it can be bad for the breasts. When you lose weight, some of that fat disappears from your breasts. Typically the skin and the ligaments inside the breasts do not retract accordingly, resulting in an ’empty’ looking breast that then sags.
Is it normal for your breasts to sag even if you haven’t been pregnant?
So we’ve talked about what happens to your breasts after you have a baby, but what if you haven’t had a baby and your breasts sag? Is that normal, or are your breasts sagging more than normal for most women your age?
Here are a few things to consider.
Remember that sagging happens to all women sooner or later— except those with very small breasts. For some of us, it happens sooner, even without pregnancy. Even some teens have breasts already giving in to gravity.
In a society that demands perky, C and D-cup breasts that seem to stand at attention even without the help of a bra, it’s only natural that women tend to be bothered by sagging because they feel it makes them less attractive. Rest assured, however, that all breasts are different, and the goal should not be conforming your breasts to a stereotype, but to make sure they compliment your body as they should.
Use it, or lose it
Sagging is an inevitable process because it’s the gravity at work. If you exercise, make sure you wear a proper sports bra with plenty of coverage. However, the idea that bras would prevent sagging in general may not be true. Studies have shown that bra wearing may actually increase sagging. The theory behind this is that when you wear bras, those ligaments inside breasts can atrophy and shrivel away from non-usage. Not that we endorse going sans your bras in public all the time, but know that the gentle bouncing of breasts when you walk and move can help those ligaments stay in top shape. Perhaps breasts weren’t meant to be kept totally motionless! If you have very large breasts, a bra may actually be better, though, due to the support they give to the heavy weight.
Sagging has such a negative connotation. We see it as drooping or sinking from weight and being tired, beyond the norm. Therefore, to determine if your breasts sag more or less than normal, it depends on what “normal” really means.
Looks Can be Deceiving
Women in the United States typically only see their own breasts and those of the models. Most models have been altered and airbrushed to look perfect, not human. That, along with most breasts being pushed up and concealed in normal everyday circumstances, leads us to assume that normal or typical is what we see on tv.
Only you and your surgeon can determine what degree of sagging is too much for your body.
Need a little “pick me up?”
Remember all women’s breasts sag to some degree. Short of breast augmentation or lift surgery, there is not much you can do about it. In the meantime, one other thing you can try is to help the elasticity of your skin by taking supplements like vitamin C, which is very important for collagen synthesis within the skin. There are also other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help the skin and ligaments to be in top health. Keep in mind that there are no guarantees by taking the nutritional route, and results may be barely noticeable. Another option is that you could just lie on your back all day and not move.
So, for those of you with real lives and real bodies that give in to gravity, appreciate your unique form. Your breasts and how you feel about them is very personal, and differs from person to person. If the appearance of your breasts bothers you that much, consider coming in for a complimentary consultation. Also know that having a breast lift or augmentation does not mean you’ll walk away with super-sized fake breasts! The key is looking natural and proportional for your body type, and the surgeons at Premier Image are experts at doing just this.