Do bras make your breasts sag?
How does an article on saggy breasts make it's way into main stream media? I'm sure you're hanging for that answer. Well they touch on a subject that capture a woman's attention by perhaps being what most would see as controversial; "Do bras make your breasts sag?" This article has done the rounds and found it's way into my inbox numerous times this week, prompting me to reply with my opinion. Now let me state this now, this is only MY opinion. I haven't done years of medical research on breasts but I have worked with women in bras for over ten years now, and that's got to count for something.
Here is a LINK to the original article I was sent and someones REPLY to that, for those who want to have a read. Otherwise let me give you a brief run down on why this article has started a breast conversation and subsequent anger from some women. French Research Proffesor Jean-Denis Rouillon, a sports science expert, claims that "bras are a false necessity." After 15 years of research on 320 woman, with and without bras, he states that "Medically, physiologically, anatomically - breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra." Rouillon and his team noted a 7mm lift in the nipples of women not wearing bras, for each year they went without. Research found that wearing a bra limited the growth of the supporting breast tissue making them degrade quicker. He found no evidence that bras helped ease back pain either and that wearing them could actually cause more problems.
One participant in the study swears by the results and hasn't worn a bra for two years. "There are multiple benefits. I breathe more easily, I carry myself better, and I have less back pain." Now tell me this before I listen with any depth... what size was she and was she wearing a well fitting bra before hand? Bras themselves, if fit correctly, shouldn't cause you back pain no matter your bust size. But if you are wearing a bad quality or ill fitting bra, it most certainly can cause you discomfort. In these cases, people may feel that the no bra option is a better alternative.
Rouillon emphasised the provisional nature of his data, which is not mentioned in most articles, and his findings do not mean all women should throw away their bras. "It would be dangerous to advise all women to stop wearing their bras as the women involved were not a representative sample of the entire population," that would require something like 300,000 subjects. His study only centered around women aged 18-35 and his years of research validated the theory that the bra was not needed to reduce the forever shifting sag, however he says that women who have been wearing bras for a long time would not gain any benefit from stopping now. So ladies, you don't need to burn your bras to get that extra lift and anger is not needed in regards to this article. It's just research.
Obviously testing this theory on only 320 young women, we don't know what size or shape they were, isn't going to be evidence enough as to the actual results on the general populace over a large period of time. He knew that, I know that, and you now know that. What sort of bras were they wearing and what size of breast were they comparing? 160 women in bras versus 160 women without, isn't a good enough representation of size variances in this world and 15 years certainly isn't long enough for the study to be truly conclusive. More research is needed.
Now let me tell you why in part I do agree with Rouillon's findings. Don't crucify me for saying so, but hear me out... If an 18-year-old woman who is say a size 10D, pushes her bust up and inward by 5cm from it's natural position every single day for 15 years, it can't be good thing, right? By forcing the growing bust into an abnormal positioning on the body, day in day out, can pull the breast tissue in an upward direction which is almost the same as age and the downward sag. With this forced anti-gravity, it can stretch the breast and create more drop later on. This is my theory.
So many women out there are not wearing the right bra for their shape or size. I see clients time and time again requesting something that just doesn't work for their bust. I'm not saying DON'T wear a bra I'm saying wear the right bra when it comes to your everyday-wear piece. Factor in you body shape not just the eras fashion trend ie the extra push up shape that is now popular. I don't think they are good to wear on a daily basis for all sizes. A bra is there for support, so find a good quality one that distributes the weight properly and is comfortable on you. Sometimes it means cupping the bust naturally and sometimes it means slightly compressing it to help prevent pain with movement. It all depends on your body, what it needs and what you feel most comfortable in.
I remember my grandmother, a woman who for 83 years never once wore a bra. She wasn't full, she breast fed six children and her bust stretched nearly down to her waist. Is the study saying that if she had worn a bra for all her adult life that they would then sit 49cm lower than where they did? Really? I don't think that's possible. I look forward to revisiting this study in 60 years time when they have used a suitable amount and variety of breasts, to come to a more realistic conclusion.
This study wasn't done to anger women and it wasn't done to tell us not to wear bras, so don't get them in a knot over this. It's just a study, and they are conducted on just about everything. So with or without a bra, do what you feel most comfortable in. If your bra isn't giving you the support or comfort you expect, please, go get a fitting.
My Lingerie Addiction