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Drooping breasts

It is natural for breasts to droop with age, particularly in women with large breasts who have had several pregnancies. Jogging causes saggy breasts. Research from the University of Portsmouth, UK, in 2006 found that when you jog your breasts move in a three-dimensional figure-of-eight. With the average 36C breast weighing 200–300 g, this puts a lot of strain on the fragile supporting tissue. A very supportive sports bra can reduce bounce by 765%, but does not eliminate it completely.

Treatments that do not work

Breasts do not contain any muscle, so there is no exercise that will improve matters. Cosmetic companies and private clinics have realized that huge numbers of women are self-conscious about drooping breasts, and offer dubious and expensive ‘treatments’. For example, some clinics offer ‘non-surgical breast lifts’ using electrical (galvanic) stimulation to ‘tone and lift the breast’; this cannot and does not work. Many ‘firming’ gels and lotions are available; these simply tighten the skin and so give a temporary sensation of breast firmness. Some claim that they contain elastin or collagen, the body’s structural proteins. In fact, elastin or collagen applied to the surface of the skin will not be absorbed through it.

Surgery

Very droopy breasts can be tightened up by surgery. This is called mastopexy. The surgeon removes a wedge of skin and tissue from the loose, saggy upper part of the breast. The nipple and the breast tissue underneath are moved so that the nipple is positioned in the skin further up than it was. There will be a scar around the nipple area, a scar running from the nipple to the crease line underneath the breast, and sometimes a small scar in the crease line.
 
Diagram showing scars after mastopexy (breast tightening)
 
The breasts end up the same size as before, but have a more pleasing shape. If the nipple area has become stretched, the surgeon can make it smaller. As with all cosmetic breast surgery, it is important to choose a reputable surgeon (see choosing a cosmetic surgeon). For more detailed information about mastopexy, look at the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons’ website.
 

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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Comments on this article

Posted by Optional on 17/12/2012 at 05:36

ave led ova tha service tha u offer bt my question is isthr another method of doing breast firming other tha. surgery??

Posted by Optional on 05/12/2012 at 06:45

Can a 52 year old woman with 2 children have natural perky boobs?

Posted by Optional on 30/11/2012 at 12:21

I would like to know whether all breast lift surgeries scar. have lost a lot of weight and gone from a 40D to a 38C. I plan on losing a bit more weight and getting my breasts done. I plan on doing a breast lift and fat transfer to give it a full natural look. Kindly advice

Posted by Optional on 07/08/2012 at 05:29

Hi i find that my breasts have gone smaller in size with age and they are not drooping so much

Posted by Optional on 15/12/2011 at 05:02

I used to be kind of heavy and then i lost a lot of weight and now my breasts are saggy and way smaller. Is there any natural or cheap way to fix them? :(

Posted by Optional on 15/08/2011 at 06:21

My breasts have been very saggy and deflated since I was 21. After pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight loss, they are a sad sight. I can't wait until I can afford surgery.

Posted by Janine on 09/06/2010 at 08:31

I am only 17 and my boobs hang quite low and have been since i started puberty, they hang so low that my back hurts and my nipples are saw, im uneployed and cant afford surgary, what can i do ?

Posted by Candace on 13/03/2010 at 07:28

I know most girls want pert firm breasts but my boyfriend likes them to droop. He says it's more womanly. We've been together since I was 17 when I wore a 34D bra. I moved in with him after a year and he asked me to stop wearing a bra and let them take on their natural shape so I did. I don't even wear one when I exercise. Anyway, the result is that my breasts have sagged a lot! LOL. So to the lady who says that being braless has no effect, I think it does. Out of interest I had a bra fitting in Debenhams recently and the lady told me I'd need a 34H bra!!!

Posted by Optional on 12/03/2010 at 05:26

My breasts are not only sagging but have wrinkles on them. I massage with a moisturizer but that doesn't work. I'm having this problem since I entered my twenties. I'm 26 right now! what do i do?

Posted by jojo on 05/01/2010 at 11:42

if you put on weight again will saggy breasts fill up again

Posted by loz on 01/12/2009 at 12:27

ye ka its natural, the only thing that isnt is all the fake boobs you see in magazines ect. Dont worry about looking like them because there not real.

Posted by Anonymous on 30/09/2009 at 04:09

I'm 16 years old, and my breasts are saggy! They have always been, ever since they started growing. It's so upsetting. All of my friends have perky breasts. Do I need to get plastic surgery to fix this?

Posted by joanna on 31/07/2009 at 08:49

i know everyone has one breast bigger than the other but mine is really noticable and both of my nipples are facing downwards and aren't in the centre what can i do because im very concious of this problem

Posted by Anonymous on 24/06/2009 at 06:54

My breasts are sadly sagging and I'm only 27. I have lost alot of weight from illness a couple of times. Is there any thing to make the ligaments stronger such as in the diet?

Posted by me on 26/04/2009 at 06:51

What a bunch of bunk! There has never been a published medical or scientific study to show that exercise, with or without a bra, can increase sagging. Look at the National Library of Medicine's website and you will see for yourself. (search "PubMed"). Don't believe the urban legends. Breasts are naturally supported by strong ligaments. Again, there is no scientific proof that going braless or exercising causes sagging. Just ask your doctor.

Posted by Ka on 22/03/2009 at 12:42

my breasts are droopy at the age of 14, is that bad?

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