Are Asymmetrical Breasts Common?
A few years ago, everyone’s favorite straightforward star, Jennifer Lawrence, shared her take on how she realized that her breasts were asymmetrical (you can watch the Jimmy Kimmel video clip here). Women across the nation responded with joy, happy to hear a public figure announce that uneven breasts were normal, and that the condition could become a topic of conversation rather than something to be privately ashamed of.
As it turns out, a whopping 90% of women have some form of breast asymmetry, and of that 90%, 25% have a variation of at least one cup size between breasts, according to East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery, New Jersey breast augmentation and reconstruction specialists. The asymmetry itself can manifest in several different ways. Maybe the breasts are different sizes, positioned in different spots, formed uniquely, or feature disparate volumes. Today, plastic surgeons measure this symmetry via mammogram or other types of three-dimensional laser scanning that can help them determine exactly where the differences lie.
So, why do breasts develop differently from one another? The easy answer is that nobody really knows. Some medical literature notes that breast asymmetry could be derived from traumatic injuries, as in the case of two girls who received injuries to their “breast bud” area in gymnastics at the ages of 10 and 11. Other thought causes include underlying medical or skeletal conditions, fibroidal non-cancerous tumors, scoliosis, or deformities in the chest wall.
Medically, unless the breast contains a cancerous tumor, the difference is not physically threatening. If there’s a significant amount of asymmetry, some studies suggest that there may be an increased risk of breast cancer, but cancer certainly isn’t a guaranteed result. However, many women feel a strained psychological relationship with their differently sized breasts. Particularly for young girls, uneven breasts can cause severe mental distress. One patient at Plastic Surgery One, aged 17, says that “I was so embarrassed by my body! One breast was normal and the other wasn’t even there. I couldn’t wear a bathing suit, sundresses, or tank tops, and wouldn’t even change into my gym clothes in school.” Body shame, or a sense that one’s body isn’t developing as it should, can take quite the toll on a developing teen’s mental health.
How To Deal With Breast Asymmetry
If you have asymmetrical breasts and you aren’t happy with them, you aren’t alone. Many women choose different ways to cope with this issue, from cosmetic surgery to home remedies to some combination of the two. Here’s a few ways to resolve your relationship with your unevenly sized breasts.
- Undergo plastic surgery. If cosmetic surgery is an option for you, find a skilled surgeon to help you choose the best option for your breasts. Good candidates for this surgery have fully developed breasts, are bothered by asymmetry, have nipples that are not located in equal positions, or breasts that are noticeably larger than one another. If these factors are the case, you can choose a few different routes to create normal and equally sized breasts. You could undergo breast implant surgery to augment the smaller breast, or maybe reduce the larger one. These types of decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, so your surgeon will help you figure out which is the best choice based on your body shape, breast tissue, and goals for your body. There’s lots of opinions out there about whether it’s better to augment or reduce, but the fact remains that each woman will find a different solution for her unique and beautiful body. This surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed under local anesthesia with sedation, so you’ll be permitted to go home within one day and walking immediately following surgery. This is the most permanent, and effective way to actually change your breast size.
- Work with what you’ve got. If you’re determined not to have surgery and to live with your breasts, uneven as they are, it may help to go in for a bra fitting with a specialist able to track down the right padding and support for differently-sized breasts. Whether it’s silicone, foam, water, or gel pads, find bras with removable pads that can give the smaller breast a boost without looking unnatural. Bras with lined cups, like padded, contour, or molded bras will make it easier and more effective to fill up the gap where the smaller breast is resting.
- Or, work out. If your breast asymmetry is the result of a physical issue with the pectoral muscle, some cases can be alleviated by working the pectoral muscles to strengthen and enlarge them. Since pectoral muscles lie directly under the breasts, many women believe that chest press exercises will actually create larger looking breasts if you can perform exercises like the one outline Most of the evidence that this works is anecdotal, and we wouldn’t go expecting any massive changes to the size or shape of your breasts, but it may be worth a try if you’re looking for minute changes in volume.
If you have additional questions about how to deal with your breast asymmetry, leave a comment in the section below or send us a message on social media, any time! We’d be happy to help direct your question to a surgeon or health care provider.