8 completely natural ways your breasts change as you get older

They’ve been with you since puberty, but be prepared for the day that you look down and find your boobs completely unrecognizable. There’s no easy way to let you know that your breasts change with age, so don’t get comfortable with them being the familiar fun bags you’ve grown to know and love. The fact is, some strange stuff happens to your boobs as you age, because as sobering as it sounds, Mother Nature didn’t promise us a lifetime of perky, firm breasts. That doesn’t mean they won’t be beautiful, though.

Since breasts undergo multiple changes during the menstrual cycle, it should come as no surprise that the breasts you developed as a youngster won’t resemble the ones you own later in life.  But don’t allow these changes to alarm you. Some breast-related changes you experience as you age are actually serious in nature and should be treated as such. However, most of them are totally normal parts of growing older (thanks, adulthood) that aren’t cause for major concern.

For those of you who prefer to not be caught off guard by your inevitable boob progression, here are 8 ways your breasts change as you age.

1Breasts lose their firmness.

Also known as involution, the point at which your ovaries begin to produce less estrogen leads to your breasts becoming less firm due to the breast tissue being replaced by fat. As if that isn’t annoying enough, involution isn’t a uniform process, so one part of your breast may become more fatty, giving off the appearance of lumpiness. If the lumps are soft, then no worries! On the other hand, hard lumps should definitely be brought to the attention of your doctor as soon as they’re detected.

2The risk of developing breast cancer increases.

According to Prevention, a change that impacts breasts as they age is an increase in susceptibility to disease. “The menopausal state is the highest risk for breast cancer in women who don’t have a genetic mutation issue,” said Dr. Kevin M. Audlin, a Baltimore gynecologist. So the older you get, make sure you’re getting tested often enough for cancer.

3 Your breasts may shrink in size.

Depending on how you feel about your boobs, this could be considered as life’s most horrendous curse or an unexpected blessing. If you think having huge boobs sucks, give ’em time. As you age, your breasts lose their fullness and shape.

4Breast tissue becomes less dense.

If a 20-year-old were to have a mammogram to determine breast density, or a comparison between the fat and tissue in the breast, the results would be drastically different than those of a 50-year-old.  That’s because as the body grows older, the collagen that prevents your breasts from sagging begins to lose its function, decreasing the elasticity of your breasts.

On the upside, the reduced breast density that occurs after age 40 allows doctors to see mammogram results better.

5Your nipples start to point downward.

Directionally-challenged nipples are a common characteristic of breastfeeding boobs, but it can also be a natural effect that takes place as breasts get older. NBD, though, because that’s just a part of life.

6Your breasts can become less sensitive.

As Dr. Alexes Hazen explained to Reader’s Digest, sensations felt around the nipple and areola come from nerves inside the chest. As you age, nerves stretch along with breasts that grow or droop, causing a reduction in sensation.

7The skin surrounding the breast is more likely to become irritated.

See: Saggy boob probz. Friction from sagging breasts can cause a variety of skin issues, from discoloration to rashes.

8The elasticity of your breasts decreases.

We know — all of this is really hard to accept. But at some point in life, gravity will team up with biology to create a pair of saggy boobs that may or may not lead you to shamelessly to google terms like “WTF are vampire breast lifts?” No matter what, remember that your breasts are perfect exactly the way they are, so don’t be discouraged if you see them go through some transformations over the years.

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