Breasts symbolize femininity, motherhood, sexuality, and sensuality, and they have a growth story too. Want to know about the breast changes that occur with age? Continue reading to learn some interesting facts.

What Are Normal Changes In Breasts?

The growth of breasts with age is a natural process. Women’s breasts undergo several changes at different life stages. Normal breast changes include their growth, change in their shape and size, and gradual loss of firmness at later stages, all driven by hormonal shifts as women age. Here’s some detailed information to help you understand your boobs better.

Prepuberty and teen years

Usually, breast development starts between the ages of 8 to 13, when the ovaries begin to produce and secrete the female sex hormone estrogen. It gradually leads to fat deposition in the connective tissue and causes the breasts to grow bigger. A girl’s breasts grow fully by age 17 or 18. However, in girls with delayed puberty, breast development may continue up till their early twenties. Some common signs breasts are growing are:

  • Development of breast buds, i.e., slight swelling under the nipple,
  • Tenderness and soreness
  • Rounder and fuller appearance
  • Darkened areola and nipples start showing

Sometimes, one breast may develop faster than the other but evens out with time. However, a slight difference in the size and shape of breasts is normal.

In the 20s

During this decade, your breasts embrace many changes, depending on the weight, pregnancy, and hormonal shifts. For example, your breast size may change if you lose or gain significant weight. If you choose to get pregnant, the areolas get darker, and nipples enlarge as they become lactation-ready. However, breasts return to their pre-pregnancy shape, size, and color post-delivery. Fibrocystic changes are also common in women in their 20s. These are characterized by benign lumps that develop because of changes in the menstrual cycle. Swelling and soreness in one or both breasts are common signs of fibrocystic changes.

In the 30s

Pregnancy-related weight changes make your breast a favorite canvas for stretch marks. Besides, you may notice drooping and looseness in your breasts because of altered fat deposition during pregnancy. However, nulliparous women retain much of their breasts’ firmness and elasticity. In addition, fibrocystic developments continue in these years. However, it is sensible to go for a breast exam if changes are discomforting, persistent, and noticeable.

In the 40s and 50s

So, what do aging breasts look like? The changes that start in the 40s and 50s are the answer. Perimenopause begins in the 40s. As estrogen declines, breasts undergo involution. It refers to the replacement of breast tissue with fat, which makes the breasts softer and looser. This process starts in the early 40s and continues until the 50s when menopause begins. The loss of collagen because of estrogen decline also plays a role in making your breasts sag. Women should be alert to changes in their breasts during these years and continue going for breast screenings regularly.

Regardless of your life stage, remember to take care of your breasts by exercising regularly and keeping an eye on significant breast changes.