The problem with growing up is that you have an idea in your mind of how you’re going to look as a woman. As there’s not a lot of information given to you about the female form besides periods and the birds and the bees, it’s easy to assume that getting past puberty would get rid of the awkward buds attached to your chest that seemed to go through different stages of growth. Mother Nature says think again!
Some women grow up to have symmetrical breasts, although it is pretty rare for them to be exactly even unless you’ve had surgery. Some form of asymmetry is the average but it is not talked about very much and it is certainly not portrayed this way in the media and movies. This anatomical nuance is of little concern to most women but there are some of us who notice a large size difference and it impacts greatly on body image. It can seriously affect some women’s self esteem.
The term ‘asymmetric breasts’ usually refers to breasts that differ in size by at least one cup size, which may become noticeable during puberty as the breast tissue starts to develop. Then, as the years progress, the asymmetry may become more obvious to the point where it is noticeable and even embarrassing for a woman.
According to Healthy Women, nobody really knows why some breasts develop differently than the other, but possible contributors include hormonal changes, traumatic injuries to the ‘breast bud’ area, and occasionally, an underlying medical or skeletal condition. An example of such a condition is called juvenile hypertrophy of the breast. It’s a very rare problem where one breast grows much larger than the other, which can cause psychological distress.
Asymmetric breasts can be corrected with surgery but it is important to realise that although one may be bigger than the other, there is nothing wrong with you. According to Embarrassing Bodies, almost 99% of women have asymmetrical breasts and in 40% of those cases, there is a cup size or more in difference. Breasts and nipples come in all shapes and sizes and you shouldn’t be ashamed of yours.
Breast asymmetry has been discussed on the TV show Embarrassing Bodies a couple of times, and I’ve provided the link to a clip of a consultation:
Share your thoughts in the comments section and if you need to talk to someone about breast asymmetry, there is a great helpline called Get Connected and you can contact them by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a link to an online gallery of normal breasts and stories from women saying how they feel about them: http://www.007b.com/breast_gallery.php