Although many women don't like to think about it, breasts can and will sag. Over time, due to a range of factors including age, the earth's gravity and weight loss, breasts lose their shape or pertness.
The breasts, similar to many other parts of the body, are made of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are known to break down with age, causing the breasts to droop with time. Women can also suffer from sagging breasts due to menopause, as dense glandular tissues are replaced by fat that's more likely to sag than what was there before.
Although many have come to believe that breastfeeding can cause breasts to sag, this isn't true. During and after pregnancy, the imminent weight gain is the real cause of sagging breasts that develop over time. Weight gain during pregnancy can cause ligaments to stretch, such as the Cooper's which do have some control over appearance. Weight gain obviously can't be prevented during pregnancy, but gaining a healthy amount should be kept in mind for a better experience.
Two other major causes of sagging breasts are sun exposure and smoking. Sun exposure can affect the appearance of the breasts, breaking down collagen in the skin by absorbing harmful UV rays. A recent study also found that smoking is a significant cause of breast drooping, especially for those that do so heavily.
Whether your breasts are sagging, seem firmer than normal or just a little different than usual, be sure to keep an eye on changes. As October comes to an end, in turn the end of breast cancer awareness month does too, but vigilance of changes is best year-round.
Learn more about breast cancer awareness here.