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How Do Breasts Change Naturally As We Age?

All parts of our bodies continue to see changes throughout our lives and breasts are no exception. Natural boobs see changes to their appearance and feel as we continue to age.

Tagged: Body & Breast

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 5th April 2021

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 20th February 2024

How Do Breasts Change Naturally As We Age?

All parts of our bodies continue to see changes throughout our lives and breast changes are no exception. Breasts see natural changes to their appearance and feel as we get older, as skin elasticity weakens and gravity takes a toll.  

The tissue and structure of breasts can also change due to major life events such as pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and menopause, when changes in the levels of hormones and physical changes in the body can lead to breasts losing their fullness and becoming less firm.  

The ageing process also sees natural breasts see an increased risk in developing growths such as fibroids, cysts, or developing cancer. It remains a priority to examine your breasts and to be aware of any changes that may need medical attention. 

When Do Breast Changes Typically Occur?

Many breast changes happen after pregnancy and childbirth. Breast changes in pregnancy are usually caused by milk production and hormonal fluctuations. The most common pregnancy boob changes are an increase in size and a change in sensation (many women feel their breasts are very tender). The increased size is maintained during breastfeeding, however once breastfeeding has finished, it is normal for the size of the breasts to decrease. Due to the breast tissue stretching during pregnancy and breastfeeding, some women find they experience sagging or a deflated appearance. Boob changes during pregnancy are completely normal, however the effects may impact some women’s confidence.

It is also common to see changes when women go through menopause. The average ages for this are between 45 and 55. This sees the amount of oestrogen being reducing leading to the skin becoming less hydrated. The skin loses its elasticity, and the breasts begin to lose their firmness and fullness. The dense breast tissue deteriorates and is replaced with more fatty tissue in its place. It is common for women to change their cup size as these changes take place during the ageing process.  

What Are Natural Breasts and How Do They Change As We Age?

When referring to natural breasts, what is commonly meant is breasts that have not undergone any surgery. When women have undergone any Breast Augmentation there will be changes to how ageing affects them. Some of the key physical changes to natural boobs as we age include:

As we have seen, the major factor behind all these changes is a drop in levels of oestrogen. This reproductive hormone is responsible for stimulating the growth of breast tissue. Lower levels of oestrogen see this stimulation drop and the mammary glands shrink in size.  

As the density of breast tissue reduces it tends to be replaced by fat. It is this that causes breasts to lose their firmness and to appear less full than they had done previously. These changes can cause the breasts to look smaller and to sag.  

Whilst all of these changes are normal and part of the ageing process, for many women it affects their confidence and happiness. It is often that this is the first time in a woman’s life that she may start to consider breast enhancement.  

How Can Fat Transfer to Breasts Restore Natural Looking Breasts?

Fat transfer to breasts is sometimes referred to as a Natural Breast Augmentation. This is because rather than using implants to change their appearance the surgeon uses fat from your own body. Also known as fat grafting, this procedure sees fat being harvested from elsewhere on your body using Liposuction. Typically, the fat is taken from your waist, buttocks, or thighs. The fat is then transferred to your breasts and has the effect of increasing their volume and improving their lift.

For women with natural breasts who are experiencing any of the changes associated with ageing, fat transfer to breasts can be the ideal solution. Unlike when breast implants are used, this process is not for significantly increasing the size of your natural boobs. Instead, the aim is to refine the shape and size and to give your breasts a subtle boost.  

A further benefit of fat transfer to breasts is that there is not the same issue with scarring that is expected when implants are used. With this process, rather than incisions being made, the fat is injected into your breasts.  

What is a Breast Augmentation or Breast Enhancement and How is This Different?

Breast Augmentation is a general term that refers to any cosmetic procedure that increases the size of the breasts. This may be achieved by using silicone implants or by using fat transfer to breasts. The result of Breast Augmentation is breasts that have an increase in size and so appear larger and fuller. What this procedure does not assist with is one of the most common issues that come with ageing - breasts that begin to sag. 

Breast Enhancement includes procedures such as a Breast Lift (Mastopexy). Rather than focusing on increasing the size, as the name suggests, the breasts are lifted and reshaped. This is an ideal solution for women who are experiencing any sagging. Often with the ageing process, there is more than one issue that a woman would like to put right.  

As well as sagging it is likely that a woman will lose the fullness and firmness in her breasts. This means that is worth looking at combining Breast Augmentation and Breast Lift so that all of these issues can be resolved and so that women can regain confidence in the appearance of their breasts. 


Is There Such a Thing as Breast Fillers?

It is common for dermal fillers to be used to address wrinkles on the face or to add plumpness to the lips. When it comes to breast fillers, the same filler used for lips can have an impact on breast size. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in our bodies and when breast fillers are used it is this substance that is injected into the breast. The result is an increase in breast size but the results are not permanent.

We do not perform this treatment at the Cadogan Clinic. Generally, the results from boob fillers can only be seen for a matter of months and such large quantities of filler would be required that other treatments are much more cost effective. After a few months your body begins to naturally reabsorb the filler. To maintain the results that you had it is then necessary to have your treatment repeated.  

For an increase in breast size that is longer-term, it is worth considering fat transfer to breasts as an alternative. A consultation with a specialist is the best way to find out more about how the issues caused to breasts by ageing can be rectified. At times the best results are not achieved through one procedure and a combination may be necessary. 
 


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

The breasts undergo a natural evolution influenced by various life events including, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, as well as the natural ageing process. These events alter the shape, size, and position of the breasts, often making women feel insecure as their bodies change. Procedures like Mastopexy and Breast Augmentation offer physical transformation to restore confidence allowing women to continue their lives without worrying about their breasts.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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