People expect their bodies to be symmetrical, meaning that things on your right side should line up equally with your right side. But you have to remember that this is rarely the case. People often have one leg that is shorter than the other. The same with the arms. Our ears are rarely exactly even on our heads. Even our feet are usually slightly different lengths.
That’s why it’s no surprise when women have breasts that are somewhat asymmetrical. It’s estimated that at least one half of all women have uneven breasts. But this is such an important part of a woman’s body image it can make a woman feel self-conscious when in a swimsuit. That’s no good in our warm Houston weather. Here, having a pool is almost as important as having central air.
To help get past these thoughts, Dr. Barrera offers various options to even out the differences between breasts. This may require breast augmentation, a breast lift, or breast reduction, depending, of course, on the patient’s individual situation.
Here’s why your breasts may be a little asymmetrical.
Breast size fluctuates
You probably already know this, but your breasts are actually glands contained within your chest wall. Each breast weighs an average of seven to 10 ounces, and is made up of from 12 to 20 lobes that branch out from the nipple, kind of like bicycle spokes. Each of these lobes has a central duct that opens at the nipple, the exit location for milk during breastfeeding.
Women notice fluctuation in their breast size during ovulation and menstruation. Breasts usually are fuller, more even, and more sensitive during ovulation. This is due to your body retaining water and also the increased blood flow during that phase of your cycle. Then during menstruation, your breasts tend to shrink back to their normal shapes and sizes.
But why are they sometimes uneven?
Here are four reasons why your breasts may be uneven:
Normal anatomy is one reason. Most of our body parts aren’t exactly symmetrical. Look at your eyebrows — they’re likely to be a little different in size and shape. As mentioned above, your legs and arms probably aren’t exactly the same length. It’s normal.
Hormonal changes that are raging during puberty can initiate one breast to begin growing before the other. Then, since the body will trigger them to stop growing at the same time, you’re left with somewhat uneven breasts. Again, really normal.
Lumps can develop in your breasts. Some come and go. Others you may want to have surgically removed. Most are benign and are caused by a variety of conditions or sometimes from a traumatic injury. Lumps can be fluid-filled sacs called cysts. They can be caused by fibrocystic breasts, where the breasts feel lumpy or rope-like. Or they can be due to fibroadenoma, a condition that causes breast lumps in adolescent girls and women under age 30.
- Breast cancer
Generally this applies to women whose breasts have been even, but suddenly begin to become more and more asymmetrical. Sudden changes in the size, shape, and appearance of one of your breasts can be a symptom of breast cancer and needs immediate attention from your gynecologist.
Now you know that asymmetrical breasts are not abnormal in the least. Still, if they’re affecting the way you see yourself and make you feel self-conscious, you may want to consider one of your surgical options with Dr. Barrera to even out your breasts. If you’d like to explore your options, give Dr. Barrera a call at (713) 468-5200 to set up a consultation.