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Aging and its effects on the breasts
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Aging and its effects on the breasts

19th Apr 2021

Introduction

Everyone dreams of eternal youth. But unless you are a magical creature, that is not possible. And because magical creatures do not exist, it means that we all get old and, unfortunately, we lose our elastic skin, slender body, our muscles become loose, we get wrinkles on our forehead, and in the corners of our eyes. Some say that age is just a number, and it is true for all those that feel young for the rest of their lives. The issue is that most of us are not so happy when we look at our face in the mirror at 40 or 50 or 60 years old. Therefore, in order to reunite body and soul and make peace between the feeling of youth inside and the image you see in the mirror, many women try plastic surgery.

One of the essential features of femininity are the breasts. Unfortunately, since they are a prominent, rather perky feature of a woman’s body, it is also the most visible. Sometimes it is almost impossible to hide it behind loose blouses or sweaters. Therefore many women think of making adjustments to their bosom. 

How do breasts change?

Let’s see how aging affects breasts by first addressing the way they first appear in a woman’s life.

Breasts start during puberty. At the moment the ovaries are fully mature, they start producing the female sexual hormone called estrogen. Estrogen causes the breasts to grow because it makes the mammary glands grow and develop. Breasts are considered fully formed at around 18 years. That is why any aesthetic change you might want to do in order to alter the form or shape of your breasts will not be performed by any plastic surgeon before this age.

Another transformation that can happen in your breast size during your lifetime is pregnancy. Because mammary glands are preparing to produce milk, the breasts grow and will be bigger than ever. They will regain their size once you are done breastfeeding. But in most cases, they will tend to be a little saggier and a little less perky than before pregnancy. That is because the glandular tissue that gets enhanced by pregnancy hormones will get to its normal size and structure, while the tissue that stretched to give room to this new size will remain stretched, hence the extra skin and sagginess.

Another big transformation happens in a woman’s body when her body starts preparing for yet another phase of hormonal change, namely menopause. Closer to menopause, a woman produces less and less estrogen. When menopause stalls the estrogen, levels fall dramatically, and this decrease results in all the symptoms and changes that come with it. Perimenopause can start as early as 35 and menopause can start around 40 or 50. 

Since mammary glands are supported by the producing of estrogen by the ovaries, the connective tissues in the breast will dehydrate and will lose its elasticity once estrogen levels drop. In many women, this tissue tends to be replaced by fat. This means that those persons will probably gain weight that turns into fat and might give a false impression of not losing volume in the breasts. Menopause is disbalance in hormones; some decrease and some increase, so the metabolism tends to change. But our body can adapt to these changes, and we can keep our shape and our weight under control through a healthier lifestyle.

Aging in the breasts

Fat is not glandular tissue. Therefore, the breasts of a menopausal woman might not lose size at all, but they will feel softer and be less full. Not wearing a bra for support will not be an option. Women who gain little weight or none at all will have smaller breasts as they age since the glandular tissue will have nothing to be replaced with. You might notice that you will lose a cup size or even two. Due to losing their elasticity and tissue, the breasts will become more droopy or saggy and might separate from one another. This means that the distance between your breasts will become bigger. Another noticeable change will happen to your nipples. First, you might notice that your areola (the small circle around your nipple) will lose shape and soon become nearly invisible.

One of the little, small advantages of getting older might be the fact that once you are getting closer to menopause, the pain and lumps you felt in your breasts during your menstrual cycle will disappear.

The density of your breasts decreases, which makes them softer but easier to screen during a mammogram. Changes in the structure and density of your breasts might lead to various lumps in your breasts. More so, all those changes are not perfectly symmetric, so one breast might appear bigger than the other or have more lumps than the other. Usually, if the lumps you feel are soft, there is no need to worry about any horrible disease. But, no matter how you think the lumps feel, you definitely should see a doctor, and that is because as you age, your risk of developing cancer becomes bigger. So, apart from your normal annual checkup that is absolutely necessary for any woman after 40, whenever you feel anything wrong with your breasts you need to go and see a doctor and do a mammogram if he or she considers so.

Factors that influence aging in breasts

There are some things that you can do in order to delay this aging process as much as possible. Exposing yourself to the sun, especially your breasts, will make the skin wrinkle and age faster. Even more, some studies have shown that UV radiation nowadays can even cause cancer. Therefore, be careful when you expose yourself to sun rays. Do not sunbathe without a top to cover your breasts and avoid sun exposure during the hottest times of the day. 

Smoking is another factor for both early aging and a lot of other diseases, including a high risk of developing cancer. Smoking is very bad for one’s health, even if so many think that this helps them be thin. Smoking leads to the aging of the arteries and skin. Nicotine makes skin lose elasticity and cells die faster, so you might be thinner, but you will definitely look sick, older, and your risk for disease will increase considerably.

There is another important factor in the way we age and how our body changes, including our breasts. That factor is heredity. Unfortunately, we do not have any say in this matter since it is only genetics and what we simply inherit from our ancestors. Some women age faster and some others slower. Some keep most of their features and stay thin and fit, and some others become fatter and lose most of their features. But this is something impossible to fight. The only thing we can do to combat this is to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Is there anything to be done?

If we are keen to have a healthy life and give up the craziness of youth sooner rather than later, we can still look good and lead a life full of health. Even if you’re unlucky on the genetics side, you can still hold on to your looks. Modern medicine has developed a branch called plastic surgery that can help you regain your youth in terms of looks. To be able to do this, you need to be in good health, so you need to maintain a healthy diet throughout your life and especially when you get older. It is also advisable to exercise as often as possible and even favor walking instead of driving small distances. It is essential you go to your GP and have your regular check-ups and also regularly visit your OB-GYN and do your annual mammogram after 40.

If you keep a good health, you will be able to alter the way your breasts look. There is a wide range of procedures that can be done nowadays for you to recover the breasts of your youth. You can choose to have a breast lift, especially if your breasts have preserved their shape and were not very big to begin with. You can do a lift and an implant surgery that will probably best suit you if you want some more volume. Implants are now sophisticated and proven safe, and they come in many shapes and options. Many radiologists are now trained to perform mammograms in women with implants, so they know how to read them and also how to handle breasts to avoid implant rupture.

Conclusion

Everyone ages, but modern medicine helps women get a new look. If you feel young but you feel that your looks do not reflect the way you feel, then you can always resort to plastic surgery and fix this issue. You might be a woman with no wrinkles and no evident signs of time passing, but your breasts will still sag. One of the best ways to get back that youthful look would be improving how they look. 


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