Ladies, not satisfied with your breasts? Then you are not alone. A study published in Body Image analysed the data of a Breast Size Satisfaction Survey which was collected from 18,541 women in 40 countries. 71% of women were dissatisfied with the size of their breasts, with an incredible 48% wanting larger breasts and 23% wanting smaller.
Aside from breasts, 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies in general, which is hardly surprising when from a young age we are bamboozled with media images of a perfect stereotype size and image. Unfortunately only 5% of women naturally possess the “ideal” proportions of 36–24–36 inches (90-60-90 centimeters) which has been cited since the 1960s, although the size zero models fall far short of this standard even, with their diminished proportions.
The function of breasts is for providing nutrition for an infant, but breasts have now become sexualised, with larger breasts or a good cleavage being seen as “sexy”.
Did you know that if the traditional Barbie doll was lifesize she would have a 39 inch bust? Perhaps this explains why so many women have an issue with their breasts and self-image. But the opinion on the ideal size of breasts is just that, an opinion. Breast size has absolutely no impact on the ability to breastfeed or sexual arousal.
In general breasts start to grow when puberty starts under the influence of increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can be as early as 8, and breasts are usually fully developed by the age of 17 or 18, although some women are not fully developed until their early twenties. The size is greatly affected by genetics, and will remain fairly stable except for fluctuations due to weight increase and loss, although hormone changes are also evident during pregnancy and menopause which can change the breasts.
As a woman reaches perimenopause, estrogen levels decrease dramatically, which causes the breasts’ connective tissue to become dehydrated and lose its elasticity, whilst the breast tissue starts to shrink and change its shape, causing saggy breasts. Breastfeeding can also have an adverse effect on the breasts.
So what to do if you are not happy, and simply must do something? It should be noted here that research, as published in the journal Body Image, affirmed that dissatisfaction with breast size can have a negative effect on mental health, citing a lower level of self-esteem, unhappiness, and leading to general dissatisfaction with their body as a whole.
If your breasts are too big, then there are only a couple of solutions. The first is losing weight and increasing exercise, since the breasts mostly consist of adipose tissue, or fat, so burning more calories could effectively reduce breast size, although it’s estimated you need to lose between 20-50 lb (9-20kg) to drop just one cup size. The other option is to have a mammaplasty – a surgical procedure to remove excess fat, tissue and skin from the breasts.
It should be noted that a large heavy bust can lead to medical problems such as regular back, neck, and shoulder pain, or regular skin irritation under the breasts, in addition to deep and painful indentations on the shoulders from bra straps, so generally unhappiness with a large bust is not necessarily about appearance.
Should you be in the 48% wanting to increase breast size, then breast augmentation is an option, where a silicone or saline implant is inserted in the breast. Although this is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the USA, it is not without risk: there is always the risk of infection, which could even result in the implant being removed; 1 in 300,00 women with implants will develop breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), which is a cancer of the immune system; capsular contracture (scar tissue that squeezes the implant) can occur, leading to a tightness or discomfort in the chest which will result in removal of the implant; loss of sensation can be a consequence, either temporary or permanently; rapture of the implant which can be without symptoms with a silicone implant, and possible toxicity remains a debating point.
Generally implants are designed to last a decade or so, so further surgery will be required. A breast lift could be another procedure to retain fullness, although the risk of scarring, bleeding, infection and loss of sensation remains.
So, surgical procedures apart, what else is available? Exercise can certainly help to improve some sagginess, and restore some fullness. Whilst some may argue that the breasts don’t have muscle and this is futile, the muscles and fibrous connective tissue beneath the breast can most certainly benefit from exercise to improve the overall look. Adding weight, if you can afford to, could add some extra adipose tissue to the breasts. Then there are always silicone bra inserts, affectionately nicknamed “chicken fillets, or a good quality push-up bra for temporary aesthetic appearance only.
But now for the interesting part! As mentioned earlier, breasts grow when hormones are at an optimum balance. Did you know that phytoestrogens found in plants can mimic hormone effects in the human body? Some natural oils can provide us with phytoestrogens, whilst others have a whole host of benefits which we can utilise on our breasts. That’s not to claim that they can magically make you increase cup size from A to D, as only a skilled surgeon and large implants can accomplish that! However we can enhance what we already have – rehydrating, lifting, firming, toning, and increasing fullness. :
Fenugreek oil has been known as a natural way to increase breast size for centuries. This oil is a rich source of diosgenin which demonstrates phytoestrogenic properties, capable of binding to estrogen receptor-sites. Animal research affirmed that diosgenin stimulated growth of the mammary gland. Fenugreek oil can help in boosting cell division and stimulating tissue growth, thereby naturally enhancing the fullness, firmness, overall look and even size of the breasts. For best results fenugreek oil should be taken internally and applied as a topical massage.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is also a good source of phytoestrogens, which can help to stimulate growth and fullness. The fatty acids contained in this oil also make this oil an effective moisturiser, and vitamins C and E, in addition to zinc can help to improve the skin tone, and firm and tighten the breasts, effectively giving a breast lift.
Almond oil has many qualities to improve the texture, firmness and fullness of the breasts. Rich in vitamins E and D, in addition to essential fatty acids, plus calcium and magnesium, this oil penetrates easily into the deeper layers of the skin, nourishing and repairing, promoting the renewal of skin cells, and stimulating the natural production of collagen and elastin. The skin will appear smoother, toned, more elastic, and brighter. Almond oil also helps to increase blood circulation, which can help to tighten sagging muscle and breast tissue, plumping out the skin, firming and lifting. According to several unofficial tests on various women of varying age, almond oil improved the appearance of the breasts.
For added benefits, try adding a few drops of the following essential oils to any of the above (approx 6 drops per 20ml):
Clove oil is extremely effective for firming and tightening the breast area. Compounds found in clove oil help to increase blood circulation thereby helping to plump the skin, and tighten sagging muscle, thereby helping to lift the breasts, and increase firmness and fullness,
Fennel oil contains phytoestrogens, which can improve size and fullness by helping to promote new tissue. This oil is also good for toning and tightening the skin.
Lavender oil has some amazing properties to help enhance the appearance of the breasts. It improves blood circulation and contains phytoestrogens, thus improving fullness, promoting tissue growth and preventing sagging. After use the breasts will look fuller and firmer with improved skin tone. This oil is promoted as one of the best oils for breast enlargement in India.
Ready to start? Chosen your favourite oil? Firstly take a small amount of the oil (or blend) in the palm of the hand and warm it by rubbing the palms together, before applying to the breasts and surrounding area. Place your hands on your breasts and spread your fingers around them, then start to massage inwards in a circular motion. The right hand should move clockwise, and the left hand anti-clockwise. Remember this is a gentle massage – you are rubbing and applying gentle pressure, not kneading and pressing. Don’t forget the skin directly surrounding the breast either. Massage for 10-15 minutes every evening or at a time that suits your personal schedule. Wipe off any excess oil, and shower off in the morning.
Exercises such as the cobra pose, push ups and plank can also help to strengthen the muscle. Consistency is key, and within several weeks you will reap the reward of your effort with perkier, toned, and fuller breasts.