Aging isn’t just the matter of getting older and the body showing signs of wear and tear. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Men and women all experience some degree of hormonal fluctuation. However, this process may be more profound for women, with dramatic shifts in estrogen and progesterone levels as they get closer and closer to menopause. Hormones affect just about every part of the body, including the breasts. Here, we discuss some of the characteristics that change as a result of biological aging.
- Volume. The volume of the breasts is the amount of fatty tissue that makes up the breast mound. Fatty tissue can grow and it can also decrease in response to overall weight and also how the body holds weight. Due to the way that hormones affect the breasts directly, women may notice that their breasts look rather deflated as they get older, making it more challenging – and far less satisfying – to wear swimsuits and some types of bras and clothing.
- Shape. When breast tissue loses firmness and volume, the shape of the breasts is bound to change. Shape may flatten but, most often, women feel concerned that their breasts look longer and pendulous.
- Elasticity. The breasts are held and supported partially by the skin. Over time, without the same amount of collagen production that once existed, the skin loses its “bounce.” This is why we see lines and wrinkles. It’s also one of the major contributors to changes in the appearance of the breasts.
- Projection and contour. Lack of fullness, elasticity, and firmness, the breasts lose their perkiness and height on the chest wall. Instead, they appear smaller and flatter.
Addressing Age-Related Shape Changes
Unfavorable changes in the shape and volume of the breasts can have a negative emotional effect on a woman of any age. Yes, we understand the idea of aging gracefully, but we also value the way that appearance correlates with self-confidence, satisfaction, and optimal quality of life. Women who are unhappy with the loss of breast contour that has occurred with age need not take the plunge into breast augmentation. In fact, that procedure alone may not be advisable when elasticity has been compromised. In many cases, a breast lift can achieve beautiful results. The breasts are not enlarged during the lift (unless the patient wants breast implants), but the outcome of this surgery can make them appear more shapely and perky.