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What causes saggy breasts?

Saggy breasts are caused by the onset of age, childbirth and extreme changes in weight. With time youthful, perky breasts typically give way to saggier breasts.

Tagged: Body & Breast

What causes saggy breasts?

Saggy breasts are caused by the onset of age, childbirth and extreme changes in weight. With time youthful, perky breasts typically give way to saggier breasts.

The best solution for saggy breasts, and the restoration of more youthful perkier breasts, is via a breast mastopexy or breast uplift procedure.

Your saggy breasts are restored into more youthful, perky breasts over the cause of the procedure, with excess tissue excised and the breast mound repositioned.

The ageing process does continue beyond this, but you can expect your previously saggy breasts to remain youthful, perky breasts for a long time after surgery.

Why do breasts start to sag with age?

The main cause of saggy breasts, otherwise known as breast ptosis, is age. As we age our skin loses its natural elasticity which causes it to look saggy or wrinkled. This affects other areas of the body, not just the breasts. Smoking accelerates the ageing process, thus contributes to this sagging of the skin.

Women who have larger breasts may find they have a higher chance of sagging, purely because higher breast mass is more vulnerable to the effects of gravity.

Estrogen deficiency, collagen deficiency, menopause, overexposure to the sun, a high body mass index (BMI) and rapid weight loss followed by rapid weight gain can also play their part in causing the breasts to sag.

Although multiple pregnancies can cause ptosis, breastfeeding, contrary to popular belief, does not contribute to sagging breasts.

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At what age do breasts start to sag?

There is no set age that breasts start to sag. It depends upon a woman’s genetics, lifestyle choices and overall health. A 20-year-old could experience sagging while a 40-year-old woman may have perky breasts. Both are completely normal.

Pregnancy may also play a part.

Does not wearing a bra cause sagging breasts?

There is no evidence to back up the idea that not wearing a bra causes the breasts to sag. However, it is recommended that a supportive sports bra is worn when exercising as one study suggested that breast motion from working out or playing sports can contribute to sagging and stretching.

Can sagging breasts be firm again?

Yes sagging breasts can be firm again following breast lift surgery.

Here at the Cadogan Clinic, we carry out four different types of breast lift surgery.

  • A Crescent Lift, the least invasive lift we offer, sees a crescent of skin removed at the top of the nipple to improve nipple position.
  • The Benelli Lift, otherwise known as a Circumareolar Lift, is best for slight nipple asymmetry or a mild lift. A doughnut-shaped incision is made around the areola to remove tissue and the breast skin is tightened.
  • A Lollipop Lift, or Vertical Scar Mastopexy as it is otherwise known, sees a lollipop-shaped incision made from the crease of the breast vertically and around the nipple. This is a very effective lift for many women with low hanging breasts.
  • An Anchor Lift is used to correct significant breast droop. This is when the incision is made similar to the lollipop, but also travels along the breast crease, forming an anchor shape. This is the most invasive breast lift procedure, but very effective for women with a long inframammary fold (distance from breast crease to nipple).

To find out which treatment would be best for you, please get in touch with our experts here at the Cadogan Clinic.

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How can I prevent saggy breasts?

While ageing is a natural part of life and your breasts are likely to sag a little with time, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to minimise the appearance of sagging breasts. These changes with have a positive effect on all areas of your body, leading to a more youthful look overall.

  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet that is rich in antioxidants, as this is beneficial for the skin. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants. Drinking plenty of water will also help to hydrate the skin, and preserve its elasticity.
  • Avoid smoking. Tobacco has been proven to break down collagen in the skin, resulting in skin that appears less full and more droopy. This also applies to the skin on your breasts, which rely on collagen to keep their youthful, perky shape.
  • Avoid sun exposure and always use sunscreen. UV rays from the sun can have a huge effect on your skin. Even if your breasts are covered and protected from the sun's rays, the surrounding exposed areas can suffer damage, and this skin also helps to support the weight of your breasts. Protecting the whole chest with sunscreen will help keep your breasts supported and lifted.
  • Keep a consistent weight. When you gain weight, your breasts increase in size, and when the weight is lost, the skin shrinks back to accommodate a smaller breast. Regularly gaining and losing weight causes the skin to lose some of its elasticity, meaning it has less ability to shrink back to its original shape. Avoid big changes in your weight to preserve the elasticity of your skin.

Can you fix saggy breasts without surgery?

It is very difficult to fix saggy breasts without surgery.

Unfortunately breast tissue cannot return to its previous firmness without surgery. However certain exercises, such as push ups, swimming and bench press, can tone up the muscle behind the breasts, which can improve their overall appearance. However anyone who chooses to try these methods should bear in mind that these will not produce immediate results. The results may only be modest.

Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, staying hydrated and maintaining good posture can also help. By taking better overall care of your body, you can improve skin elasticity and strength. This in turn helps minimise the risk of sagging.

Pectoral muscle workouts can tone the muscle behind the breasts, resulting in a natural lift if done often enough. However there is no way to fix breasts that have already sagged without surgical intervention.


Treatments mentioned in this article

Female breast size is determined by several factors, including genetics, body weight and hormonal influences.

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