Unhooking the Truth Behind Ill-Fitted Bras and Your Health

| Women's Health

Bras are considered to be one of the most significant accessories in your journey through womanhood; from training bras and first-ever A-cup bras, to very sexy push-up bras with all the embellishments and lacy trimmings in between, bras have been there with you every step of the way.

putting on bra

The question of whether or not your bra is damaging to your health may seem like a silly concept to think about, but has actually been a recent topic discussed within the health community. According to research, there are several health risks that are caused by bras that don’t offer the correct support and need. Complications include constricted breathing, back pain, restricted circulation, muscle strain and irritable bowel syndrome.

Medical anthropologists Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer investigate the connection between bras and women’s health in their book Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. Specifically, they found that wearing restrictive bras can interfere with the lymphatic flow below the armpits. When this happens, it blocks an internal network of vessels that are supposed to flush toxins from the body, and form cysts which cause pain and possibly increase the risk of breast cancer.

Other research has shown that sports bras and fashion bras can cause breathing difficulties, because they are designed to hold the breasts in place and constrict the ribs more than normal. It can also lead to circulatory problems and digestive complications due to the intense pressure that is being pushed on the diaphragm. Wearing sports bras and fashion bras for a short amount of time seems to be OK, but keeping them on more frequently than necessary can be an issue. Click here to protect your girls by finding the best sports bra!

luna bra moving comfort
(Photo: Her Room)

When shopping for a bra, choose a material that is extra soft and that is cushioned to give you proper support. Make sure that the straps are comfortable and that they are not digging into your skin, since that can cause skin problems. If your breasts are spilling over the top of the bra or out the sides, go up a cup size — nothing wrong with that! And, most importantly, make sure that the band around your ribcage is at a comfortable and healthy size. Most of the health problems associated with an ill-fitted bra involve bras that are too tight around the diaphragm, so take this step seriously! Click here to check out our list of sports bras for the well endowed. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most lingerie store employees are trained to fit women of all shapes and sizes and want to make sure you walk away with the best one!