Disproportionately large breasts can make a woman self-conscious. They can cause backache, probably because of adopting a drooping posture to try to hide their size. After a few years, the pressure from bra straps may cause grooves in the shoulders. High-impact sports such as jogging or aerobics can be uncomfortable or impossible. Clothes that fit properly can be hard to find. The oral contraceptive pill may have to be abandoned because it makes the breasts even larger.
Choosing a bra
- If the straps dig into your shoulders, the bra back size is probably too big, as the main support for the breasts should come from the strap around your body and the cups
- If your bra rides up your back, the bra is too big around your body – the strap should fit around your ribcage
- Lift up your arms. Did everything stay in place? If your bra pulls up across your breasts you need a smaller size bra, probably with a larger cup size
- If your bra wrinkles, your cup size is too big – the breasts should be in the cups with a smooth outline
- If your breasts bulge out of the top or sides of your cup, and your bra looks lumpy under clothes, your cup size is too small
- If wires poke out at the front or dig in under your arms, the cup size is too small – the wires should lie flat against your body and surround your breasts
- Look for a bra with two or three fastenings or hooks – these give the best support
- Underwires give good support, but the upper end of the wire should not press into the breast tissue near the armpit
Discuss the pros and cons of breast reduction surgery with your doctor. This does not commit you to anything, and may help you decide whether you can come to terms with your figure – and see it as an advantage – or whether you really would like surgery. In the UK, it is very unlikely that you would be able to have the operation on the National Health Service.
- Breastfeeding may not be possible afterwards.
- The incisions may take a long time to heal, especially round the nipple, and the central part of the incision in the crease line.
- The scars from the incisions usually fade in 6–12 months, but can become thickened and unsightly.
- As with all operations, there is a risk of infection and internal bleeding.
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Monday, January 16th 2012
GP and broadcaster Dr Phil Hammond shares his views on PIP breast implants and widens the debate on cosmetic surgery. What do you think? We welcome your comments below.
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