Is Your Large Chest Causing Health Problems?

| Women's Health

We live in a breast-obsessed culture. Celebrity-led debates have been sparked by whether women’s nipples should be censored online, and both shaming and support of public breastfeeding has been a hot topic this year. We’ve sexualized boobs in every media outlet and many women wish — or even go under the knife — for a larger cup size. So why do some well-endowed women wish their breasts were smaller?

woman putting bra on

US lingerie company Intimacy (now merged with London retailer Rigby & Peller) found that the average bra size for Americans has gone from 34B to 34DD in the last 20 years. Florence Williams, author of "Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History", revealed a similar study that found the average cup size to be a 36 C.

Regardless, Williams says the undoubted size increase American women are seeing in their breasts isn’t as good as it sounds. She notes that these expanding bra sizes are linked to the expanding waistlines we’ve noticed in recent years and to early onset puberty. Both of these factors have been linked to an increased risk in developing breast cancer.

Women with large breasts are also at a greater risk of pollution exposure as bigger breasts hold more fatty tissue, which stores toxic chemicals. Those fat cells could be storing mercury or chemicals found in pesticides and paint, which may then be transferred to a newborn child through a woman’s breast milk. (via Fox News)

>> Read more: The Great Mammogram Debate

Aside from those harmful risks, women with large breasts often experience chronic physical pain in the neck, shoulders and back, as well as an unnaturally curved spine due to the weight they attempt to counterbalance and chafing underneath their breasts. They may even get numbness of the fingers and migraine headaches that they may not see as being related to their breast size.

back pain

If your breasts are causing intense everyday pain or if you aren't comfortable with their appearance, book an appointment for an updated bra fitting and try a few new brands or sizes. An ill-fitting bra can cause health problems in itself and is amplified in women with larger breasts. A recent international survey by Swiss lingerie company Triumph found that 64 percent of women are wearing the wrong bra size. Finding a supportive, lifting, comfortable bra may relieve the pain your boobs are causing and even cure other chronic pain you didn’t know was related.

Rigby & Peller is a company that caters to women with large breasts. Online, it sells sizes A-K. This bra is available through size 46I with three-section wire bra and full cups. The shoulder straps and sides feature gripped binding and the cups are made of study, yet elegant material for exceptional lift and support.

If you are overweight, you may be able to naturally reduce the size of your breasts by beginning a fitness routine and eating a more health-conscious diet. But because your uncomfortable breasts may be limiting your potential to exercise, find a supportive sports bra and talk with your doctor about igniting a new routine. If you're considering surgery, being within 10 percent of your ideal weight makes you a better candidate for a reduction mammoplasty as it can decrease the risk of complications and will make the surgery easier to perform.

Reduction mammoplasty (a surgical procedure to make the breasts smaller) may relieve your painful symptoms and help you lead a healthier, more productive life. If you find your breasts causing severe pain to your body and hindering you from performing everyday activities, talk to a doctor about these options, which may be covered by your insurance!