Breast Ptosis: Why Do Breasts Lose Volume and Shape?

Sagging of breasts is medically referred to as breast ptosis, and is a natural body change caused by aging. But there are other things that contribute to the loss in shape and volume. One thing that does not cause sagging is breast feeding. This is a common misconception that should not affect your decision to breast feed.

Why Do Breasts Lose Volume & Shape

1. Aging

The main cause of sagging is aging. As you age, your skin’s elasticity decreases and gravity begins to have a greater influence on their shape. The breasts for younger women have more fibrous and dense tissue. But as you age, the tissue becomes fattier, causing you to lose some structural support in the breast.

Additionally, the body may decide to store fat in other places, causing something similar to facial aging – when you lose volume in your face as you get older despite maintaining your weight.

2. Weight Fluctuation and/or Hormones

Ideally, breast ptosis should come much later in your life. But if you use tobacco, have multiple pregnancies, and weight fluctuation, breast ptosis can occur earlier on in your life.

Breasts have a tissue and fatty component. It is the fatty part that is affected by weight gain and loss, and responds like any other fat cells in your body. Unfortunately, there is no way to control where fat in your body is stored.

In some cases, pregnancy can initiate breast ptosis because your body will be releasing more hormones, causing your breasts to become bigger to hold milk. The result is stretched skin. Weight fluctuation causes your skin to stretch more, further leading to sagging.

3. Genetics

The extent of sagging can also be influenced by genetics, which determine the size of breasts, balance of adipose and glandular tissue, and skin elasticity.

4. Smoking

Smoking damages elastin – the protein that makes and keeps skin elastic. With lower elastin levels, your breasts will droop and sag.

5. Vigorous Exercises Without Proper Breast Support

Running, jogging, and other vigorous exercises cause your breasts to move in all directions, unless you wear a properly fitted sports bra. Allowing your breasts to move freely may cause them to shrink and lose their lift.

Can You Prevent Breast Ptosis?

There are ways to delay breast ptosis from occurring earlier on, such as using the right type of sports bra. One study revealed that bras that are separated into individual cups from the breast are more effective at keeping breasts from moving around, compared to a compression type bra.

That said, a bra cannot stop ptosis from occuring. If you want to fix sagging breasts, you should consider getting a breast lift. If you also want more volume, a breast lift with implants is the ideal solution for you. Either way, it is important that you consult a board-certified plastic surgeon before making an informed decision.