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breast pain menopause

Menopause is often referred to as “the change of life” — and with good reason. It can cause a lot of shifts in your body, including your breasts. But just how will they change, and how much? Can menopause make your boobs bigger? And if so, why does this happen? Knowing what’s normal can offer a lot of reassurance while you’re going through this dramatic transition in your life.

Here are a few ways menopause can affect your breasts: 

Changes in breast size

If it seems like you’re spilling out your bras after going through menopause, you may not be imagining things. One 2004 study revealed that about one in five (18.6 percent) of women reported having to buy a larger bra due experiencing a post-menopause increase in breast size. This research also revealed that the top factor associated with this size increase was overall weight gain. Meanwhile, only 1.7 percent of the women who participated in the survey reported having to buy smaller bras.

It’s worth noting that estrogen levels are also higher in the earlier phase of perimenopause. The result? Your breasts may swell.

Your metabolism is gradually slowing down throughout the phases of menopause, which can lead to the weight gain that causes an increase in breast size. Moreover, stress during this time in your life can spike cortisol levels in the body, and higher levels of this hormone have been linked to weight gain.

Related: 6 Factors That Can Cause Your Breast Size To Change

bras for menopause

If you’re looking for comfortable bras, check out the Emma Plunge Molded Bra and Emma Wire-Free Soft Padded Bra – both are made of a soft microfiber.

Changes in breast shape

Menopause marks a woman’s reproductive years coming to a close. As such, your ovaries halt their estrogen production, and the milk-producing glands and ducts (which give your breasts their fullness and rounded shape) begin to shut down. That tissue is replaced with fat. Since estrogen is what keeps your breasts’ connective tissue elastic, breasts may feel less dense and firm as that hormone drops — in fact, they’ll likely begin to sag (marvelous, we know). Essentially, the tissue inside the breasts is shrinking, but the skin outside it isn’t, resulting in a deflated appearance.

Finding Support

While there isn’t any known way to reverse sagging, you can certainly engage in strength training exercises that target your chest (such as push-ups and dumbbell flyes) — by developing the muscles underneath your boobs, you may notice a perkier look.

As far as bra styles go, there are certain styles that may help address any undesirable changes in your breasts. For example, a push-up bra can certainly provide a lot of lift for drooping breasts, while a molded bra or contour bra can offer excellent shaping benefits.

As for a change in breast size due to menopause, you’ll definitely want to get a professional fitting at least twice a year to determine whether your bra size has gone up or down at all. This is especially crucial given that a bra is only supportive if it fits well, and support will play a key role in your comfort and appearance while you’re dealing with droopier breasts as a result of menopause.

Related: 4 Of The Best Bras For Lifting Sagging Breasts

sore breasts menopause

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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