20th of February 2015

Why are Bras important?

One of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken into women’s breast movement during exercise has been carried out by scientists at the University of Portsmouth.

It revealed in detail where and by how much breasts move during exercise , not just up and down but also from side to side and in and out.

Dr Joanne Scurr, who leads the Breast Health Research Group said “if breast movement is not reduced women risk damaging the fragile Coopers Ligaments which once damaged, are irreparable and results in sagging”.

Coopers Ligaments (or suspensory ligaments of the breast) are fibrous connections between the inside of the breast skin and the pectoralis muscle. These ligaments are responsible for maintaining the shape and position of the breasts and prevent ptosis (sagging).

Research has shown that during exercise a bare breast can move up and down as much as 12cm.

A recent study from the Australian Institute of Sport found that 88% of adolesence wore a bra during exercise that did not fit.

So for all women, it is important to wear a bra that provides optimum support for everyday and in particular, during exercise. Once the suspensory ligaments have been stretched resulting in drooping breasts, then a breast lift procedure may be considered. Or even a breast reduction procedure.

Considerations when buying a Bra.

  1. Support level – this will depend on your size (large breasts need more support) and your sport (high impact?).
  2. Compression – like a crop top to firmly press the breasts against the chest wall.
  3. Strap width – wider straps provide more support and help to reduce the straps digging in.
  4. Material – make sure the material is breathable and comfortable. Also ensure there are no seams across the nipples to avoid chaffing.

Many women think that having breast implants means they will not need to wear a bra at all – wrong!! The heavier the breast, the more potential to sag so a good bra most of the time is very important. It is okay to go without a bra on occasion, however most of the time a good bra is advisable.

If you have any concerns or questions, always consult a dedicated Plastic Surgeon who specialises in breast health.