Looking at a mirror is totally normal and healthy for every woman. Observing your breasts are helpful especially if you’re doing breast self-examination to regularly check for anything unusual. If you do observe that your breast size does not look even or symmetrical, it is important for you to understand the normalcy of having uneven breasts. In fact, more than half of all women have some form of breast asymmetry.
More Prominent In Puberty
Usually the breasts in teens will experience some uneven size growth all the way until they reach 16 years of age. For some the breast size will eventually even out, for a lot there will be some slight to significant unevenness that remains throughout their adult lives. Breast development and growth are largely affected by hormones. Just because you may experience uneven breast size at the end of puberty, this does not necessarily need immediate medical attention or treatment.
My Breasts Grew Only On One Side!
While uneven breast sizes may be normal, having only one side grow while the other is not growing at all is a benign condition that is a rare congenital disorder known as juvenile hypertrophy. To correct this uneven structure, one may opt for breast augmentation but more recommended when one has gone through the full cycle of growth in puberty so the breast prosthesis can match the final size of the natural breast.
Why Do I Suddenly Have Uneven Breasts?
If you are way past puberty and suddenly experience breast asymmetry much later on, then it is possible the following factors may have affected your breast size:
- Hormonal changes
- Hormonal fluctuations can lead to changes in breast size and could possibly occur on one side more than the other. Some cases of hormonal changes can be due to menopause, pregnancy, or even taking birth control pills.
- Trauma or injury
- Any physical trauma on one side of the breast, especially if significantly serious, can cause the breast tissue to swell. Severe bruising or internal bleeding needs immediate medical attention and you should not wait for it to simply subside unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
- If a mother tends to feed only one side of her breasts to her child, then there is a possibility of having breast asymmetry. Surprisingly it’s not as simple as the side being fed more on, being smaller than the other not being used. The breast where a child regularly feeds can be MORE engorged than the less-utilized breast because the baby’s latching stimulates more milk production. Thankfully, changes in breast size during the breastfeeding period are not permanent and will eventually go back to their normal sizes.
When Is Having Uneven Breasts Serious?
Even if we covered most cases of breast asymmetry to be normal and more common than we realize, there will always be some exceptions to the general rule. When you experience swelling on either breast and you feel some discomfort or pain, it is best to see your doctor for a more thorough check. Abnormal growths or artifacts in your breasts that cause your breast to feel heavier on one side than the other, may also be cause for concern. When is growth abnormal? Any breast size change that rapidly happens over a course of a few days outside factors such as hormone fluctuations or breast augmentation, should be reported to your doctor. If the growths are due to breast tissue going through fibroid growths or even breast tissue expansion, it wouldn’t hurt to get a mammogram.
Can I “Fix” Uneven Breasts?
Most women will find it easy to simply live with the existing asymmetry of their breasts. Having uneven breasts is not an illness or debilitating condition that one needs to “fix”. However, it is totally acceptable for women to prefer the aesthetic direction of breast symmetry.
- Breast augmentation can be done to enlarge one breast to match the largest of the pair.
- Breast reduction will be for those who prefer to match the size of the smallest of the pair.
- Breast lift can also be done to alter position or lift of the breast to create that visual symmetry.
- Fat transfer from one breast to another can also be done but the problem with this is that multiple repeat procedures might need to be performed to achieve the desired symmetry.
Living With The Asymmetry
Because it is more common than you think, garment choices for uneven breasts are increasingly more available each year. Even selecting bras for uneven breasts can either be done in a shop that provides variable cup sizing or custom-fitting for bras. We carry several partial breast prosthetics that can be used to balance and make you symmetrical. Most times with a proper diagnosis and prescription from your physician we can submit the items to your insurance company for reimbursement for you. If you feel uncomfortable with the asymmetry because of body image, you can work with the right styling of your clothes to create that visual symmetry. If that still doesn’t work, body-awareness exercises can mentally help you embrace your natural look as all breast sizes, uniquely different from each other, are beautiful.