When you put on a bra in the morning, are you preventing saggy breasts? Find out the truth about bras and breast sagging.
Most women diligently put on their bra in the morning, not only to make their breasts look shapely, but in hopes of preventing saggy breasts. Not surprisingly, sagging breasts are more common as a woman ages, but breast sagging usually occurs earlier in women with large breasts. If you diligently wear a bra with good support, will it prevent saggy breasts?
What Causes Sagging Breasts?
Breasts are made of milk-producing glands, fat, and connective tissue. They’re suspended from the chest wall by ligaments called Cooper’s ligaments. These ligaments determine how low or high the breasts look as well as their general shape – perky or saggy.
Unfortunately, age takes its toll on these suspending ligaments, and over time the ligaments stretch – causing breast sagging. How soon these ligaments stretch and lose their elasticity depends on heredity, diet, how many pregnancies a woman has had, breastfeeding, age, and breast size. Smaller breasts hold up better over the long haul in terms of sagging.
Does Wearing a Bra Prevent Sagging Breasts?
There’s little evidence that wearing a bra delays or prevents saggy breasts. In fact, some experts believe that immobilizing the breasts in a bra causes Cooper’s ligaments to atrophy – so they’re less capable of firmly supporting the breasts.
One small Japanese study that followed young women who wore a bra or went braless for three months found at the end of the study that the women who wore a bra had breasts that hung down slightly more. Although this is hardly a respectable scientific study, it does call into question the benefits of wearing a bra to prevent saggy breasts. Even bra manufacturers admit that the function of a bra is to change the appearance of the breasts while the bra is being worn.
Wearing a Sports Bra to Prevent Saggy Breasts
There is one situation where wearing a bra might be helpful for preventing breast sagging. Women who run, or do high-impact exercise and have large breasts, put considerable stress on Cooper’s ligaments -which could cause them to stretch. Wearing a sports bra may prevent this. Plus, it makes exercise more comfortable.
Can You Prevent Saggy Breasts By Wearing a Bra: The Bottom Line?
Bras likely do little to prevent breast sagging. They’re more a fashion item than they are a medical device. Enjoy them, but don’t count on them to keep you perky.
Journal of Hum. Ergol. 19 (1): 53-62.