Be it due to stigma, embarrassment or fears of indecency, as women, we often don’t pay enough attention to our breasts. But the thing is, our boobs are not only essential (and beautiful!) parts of our body, but they also can tell us a lot about our health. Being attentive to our tatas is important, and ignoring changes in appearance or feeling could lead to avoidable health complications. Here’s a list of seven things your breasts may be indicating about your well-being: when it’s normal, and when it might be time to get checked.
Do you suddenly feel fuller in your bra? Most likely, it’s no big deal. Sudden breast growth is, most commonly, attributed to weight gain. Since boobs are mainly made up of fat cells and glandular tissue, they tend to develop pretty quickly when we start gaining fat. It might also mean you’re about to begin menstruating, or you’re experiencing a hormone imbalance due to pregnancy or birth control.
Just how your boobs grow during weight gain, they also tend to shrink during weight loss; that sudden reduction in size might be due to a significant drop on the scale. It could also mean that you’ve just finished your period. However, if you can’t find a specific reason for the shrinkage, you might be experiencing an imbalance with your thyroid gland. If that’s the case, it’s worth getting checked.
Small bumps on your areola?
Have no fear. Our breasts are designed for milk production; those tiny, pimple-like bumps on your areola are most likely the ends of milk ducts in your breasts. Sometimes, they puff out and look or feel more apparent.
One large bump on your areola?
Unlike those pimple-like bumps, one large bump on your areola could be harmful. While it may be benign, if you notice any out-of-the-norm growths, it’s recommended that you call your doctor and get screened in case of a cyst or tumor.
Are your boobs tender to the touch? It could mean you’re about to start your cycle. It might also mean that you’re going a little overboard with caffeine, which has been found to aggravate breast soreness. However, if you feel any unusual discomfort, or notice any sudden growths or lumps, check in with your doctor. Side note: tumors generally don’t feel painful, so most likely, that achy lump isn’t cancerous.
Because breasts are designed to make milk, leakage is generally normal. If you’re not nursing, milk-like discharge could signal that you’re physically stimulated.
Unusually high number of breast hairs?
Sometimes, a sudden growth in breast hair is a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition where your ovaries or adrenal glands start producing excessive amounts of male hormones. The spike in testosterone could lead to sudden hair growth in unusual parts of the body. If left untreated, PCOS could ultimately lead to infertility. If you start noticing one too many stray breast hairs, consult your health professional.