- A lot of females do not know a lot about breasts, they talk about what they have heard from their mothers, aunts and even males. And many of those things may simply be myths.
- If there is significant asymmetry in your breasts, especially during adolescence; you need to be patient as it often changes.
- In addition, always remember that different factors contribute to your breast size - and it has nothing to do with your sexual history, sexuality, attractiveness or femininity.
A specialist general surgeon with a passion for cutting-edge breast care, Dr Liana Roodt explains that different breast sizes and types are completely fine, breasts are breasts. "Your breast size is a unique body trait determined by your genetics, body type, hormones and stage of life,” she says. “Your breasts will undergo many changes during your lifetime – love each stage and your body regardless.”
Breast size does not determine how attractive you are – this is a horrible belief we have made our own mainly due to the often-distorted portrayal of the “ideal” female body by the media. Own your body and unique beauty with pride.
The vast majority of women have some breast asymmetry – with one breast slightly larger than the other. This is completely normal. If there is significant asymmetry, especially during adolescence, be patient, it often changes and becomes far less noticeable once the acute developmental phase is over. If it persists and is bothersome, some procedures can assist with achieving better symmetry.
Some people prefer to have a breast reduction or enhancement and Dr Liana explains that people should always do their research before undergoing these procedures.
“Cosmetic breast surgery is still surgery and comes with risks – be sure that a decision to have a breast reduction or breast enhancement will improve your quality of life and confidence. Neither of these procedures is currently covered by medical aid and is a huge financial commitment too. Breast implants also have a shelf life and often needs removal and/or replacements after 10-15 years – keep this in mind when you research these procedures.”
Here is what Dr Liana has to say about some common myths regarding breast size.
Myth 1- The size of your breasts is related to how many men you have slept with - the more men you've slept with, the bigger your breasts will be.
This has to be the biggest lie. Absolutely not. Your breast size has nothing to do with your sexual history. Breasts grow and that is normal.
Myth 2 – Your breast size is an indication of your femininity and sexual appeal.
This is not true at all. This becomes especially evident when you look at transgender patients who completely identify as male but may have very large breasts. A woman can have very small breasts and be incredibly feminine and appealing – those factors have way more to do with your psychology and head space than your bra size.
Myth 3 – Your breasts will stay the same size your whole life once you have gone through puberty.
This is not true – hormonal fluctuation, pregnancy, menopause and even very subtle weight gain or weight loss can influence your breast size over your lifetime. This is also why we tend to advise young patients not to consider plastic surgery (breast enhancement or breast reduction) too early.
Myth 4 – The bigger your breasts, the more fertile you are and the easier it will be to breastfeed.
This is false. Both fertility and a patient’s ability to breastfeed, are influenced by a plethora of factors of which breast size is not one.
Myth 5 – Certain types of exercise can enhance your breast size and prevent sagging.
This is unfortunately not true as the breast tissue is predominantly composed of fatty and glandular tissue – not muscle. While having strong and well-developed pectoral muscles, a strong upper back and shoulders will improve your posture, it will not influence your breast size. Many athletes feel that their breasts get smaller as they train more and lose weight. Weight loss or weight gain has a definitive impact on breast size.
Myth 6 – Your bra size is standardized and therefore the same size bra will always fit you.
This is not entirely accurate – although the sizes are standardized, bras are like any clothes. One brand’s size 34 jeans may fit you perfectly while another brand’s size 34 may be too small. The shape and other features of a bra (like an underwire) may also impact the comfort and fit of the garment.
Myth 7 – Having large breasts means you have a greater risk of developing breast cancer.
This is nuanced and should be interpreted with caution – a high BMI and high body fat are associated with an increased risk for cancer. If your body weight is healthy and you have big breasts, that is certainly not going to be a high-risk factor. Cancer risk is complicated – whether you have large or small breasts, make sure you do your check-ups regularly.
Stop worrying about your breast size, there are factors that contribute to breast size. Your genetics, and not just from your maternal line. Your mom and sisters may have small breasts, but you may find that a grandmother or aunt on either side of your family has larger breasts. Your body type and body fat as well as certain hormones are the main factors influencing your breast size.
“Health is wealth – having a healthy and strong body is the biggest gift! Try and focus on that privilege when you feel self-critical. Confidence has very little to do with how we look – the most beautiful people in this world often suffer from very low self-esteem. Find your worth beyond your bra-size and embrace your unique beauty,” says Dr Liana.
Have you been wrongly convinced that there is something wrong with you based on your breast size? Tell us about it here.
Sign up to W24's Newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our stories and giveaways