Info About Breasts for the Novice – What they do, what they are, and how they look!!

For many girls going through puberty, their major concern, outside of when they will get their period, is the size and development of their breasts.  Why am I blogging about this now?  Actually, it is because I was reading some of the questions that girls ask the experts and this topic was a recurring theme.  Being way past the age of caring about this in regards to my own personal being, I was glad for the reminder of the angst that puberty brings in regards to body image so I could blog about it and perhaps provide some reassurance.

Since we all start out having breasts and we mostly know what their ultimate purpose is, at least in females (I still haven’t figured out why men have boobs, beyond the fact that they too are mammals and all mammals have them.), I thought it would be helpful to understand them a bit better then the obvious.    So stay with me as I give an abbreviated anatomy and physiology lesson on the breast:  

One of the first signs that puberty is occurring is the development of breast tissue.  The breasts are made up of milk-secreting glands, ducts and fatty connective and lymphatic tissue.  Lobules, within the breasts, actually produce the milk and the ducts connect the milk-producing lobules to the nipple.   Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, such as round, pointy, football-shaped or flattish to name a few.  Cups sizes can range anywhere from AAA to DDDD!  Also, about half of women have lumpy breasts due to fatty tissue differences or fibrocystic gland tissue.  In fact, it is the fibrocystic breast tissue that becomes tender or painful every month due to hormone changes.  There is a condition called, fibrocystic breast condition that can cause extreme discomfort during ones period.  That will be addressed in another blog, if I get further interest in this topic.   

Now some frequently asked questions from girls:  

Teens are concerned about their breast size. So the question that should be answered is:  Does size matter?  The reply is it shouldn’t.  When it comes to milk production, experts agree that size doesn’t matter.  Larger breasts have a higher percentage of fatty tissue, not more milk producing capability.   The size of ones breasts is usually determined by genetics.

Another question that gets thought about is:  Do boys mostly prefer larger breasts?   Breasts are right out there, so to speak, so they are more noticeable and more attention is placed on them.  As far as what size and shape do most guys prefer, just about any.  If you ask different girls what color hair or eyes she likes in a partner, the answers will be random and all over the place.  The truth of the matter is that the answers about breast size preference will also vary depending on the person.  The important thing here is that if someone likes and cares about YOU, your breast size and shape become unimportant.  

For some girls, their primary concern is when they will get breasts, then it is how big will they be and what will they look like, but it doesn’t usually enter ones conscious thoughts that their breasts could be different sizes.  Talk about making the stress of puberty more intense – breast sizes of different proportions could do it!  Fortunately, breast size usually equalizes out or becomes minimally different and not very evident.  Of course, if breast size differentials get greater as one gets older, it is key to have them checked out by a health care provider, as it could indicate a growth, such as a tumor or cyst that needs immediate attention.    

For those of you reading this who no longer have breasts due to surgery to prevent or treat cancer, you might tell girls not to sweat the small stuff and to just enjoy their youth and good health.  In the end, the thing that matters most is the person that you are and the goodness that you bring to the world.  Too bad that it takes some of us awhile past puberty to really understand the wisdom in that. 


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