A bra or not a bra…now that is the question.
There are those who defend the use of a bra tooth and nail. Others think you should only wear one during certain times of the day. And others think that this garment is perfectly useless…
So which is it?!
In today’s article, we’ll take a closer look at whether it’s good or bad to wear a bra.
The effects of bras on women
Jean Denis Rouillon, a doctor from the University of Franche-Comte, has been studying the effects of the bra on women for years.
His research is based on analyzing, observing, and measuring the breasts of volunteer participants while allowing each one to describe their experience when wearing a bra or not.
Some people only wear a bra during certain situations (like playing sports, for example), while others have decided to never wear one.
According to the earliest conclusions, when you don’t wear a bra your nipples are an average of 7 mm higher per year. The reason? Your breasts are strengthened.
For some of the study’s volunteers, playing sports without a bra wasn’t a problem. Nor was going to work, being at home, or attending a party without one. Their breasts didn’t hurt at the end of the day, and they didn’t feel any pressure or discomfort.
See also: 10 breast cancer warning signs
The only “downside” that they described was the reactions of people around them, who looked at them strangely or directly told them to put on a bra.
In those cases, they choose to wear a wireless bra to avoid uncomfortable stares or comments.
What is certain is that this study may have left out a large portion of the female population: those over 30 years old, with large breasts, who are overweight, or who have had children.
Everything can change if even one of these conditions is met. During pregnancy, for example, the breasts grow and the mammary glands move downward. In these cases, it’s often considered a good idea to wear a bra.
Truth and fiction about wearing a bra
While you might think that women have always worn bras, it’s not the case. It is a very modern invention that’s primarily based on fashion.
Let’s take a look at 6 of the most common myths and realities about wearing bras:
1. “Wearing a bra is required”
Again, we have to refer to Professor Rouillon to answer this claim. According to the doctor, a bra can cause stretch marks, flaccidity, and a loss of firmness in the breast tissue.
Therefore, they are actually a “false necessity.”
2. “You need them to fight the effects of gravity”
We don’t know what Isaac Newton would say about it, but most woman think that wearing a bra can help prevent or slow the breasts from sagging.
While this seems to be a feminine law, the truth is that this garment can actually limit the growth of tissue that supports the breasts.
Because of that, it doesn’t provide any anatomical or physiological benefits.
3. “Bras with an underwire are better”It’s true that these types of bras frame the breasts and can look very elegant. They have their downsides, however.
Excessive use of bras with underwire can cause injuries – both internal and external. They have even been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
4. “You should also wear a bra at night”
Some women don’t take off their bras at night because they’re worried about the effects of gravity or because they believe that wearing one will make it more comfortable to sleep on their stomachs. The first is a myth and the second has to do with personal habits or beliefs.
According to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, microscopic ligaments hold the breasts in place.
When they become “accustomed” to having something else do the work for them (i.e., the bra), they weaken and a loss of firmness is likely to appear.
5. “The bigger the breasts, the tighter the straps”
Before considering what kind of adjustment you need, it’s better to purchase a bra type that has straps relative to the size and weight of your bust.
If you have large breasts, the straps need to be wider (and the opposite is true for women with smaller breasts).
You should also understand that the more tension there is in the straps, the less work your ligaments do.
When you take off your tight bra, your breasts will sag more than usual. It’s as if they were an elastic band that was released after being stretched for hours.
We recommend you read: 5 reasons why breasts hurt
6. “You need extra support for exercise and during pregnancy”
This can be completely true, because while you’re exercising as well as during pregnancy your breasts grow (or swell) more than usual.
Of course, you should wear a special kind of bra and always remember to take it off at night or after a sweaty workout.
Other circumstances that lead you to need more support include:
- Being overweight.
- Having large breasts in proportion to your body size.
- Breastfeeding or having gone through menopause.
Finally, you shouldn’t wear a bra for more than seven or eight hours straight. You can wear it while you’re at work or away from home, and take it off when you get back home.
This way, your breasts relax and you reduce the risks related to this garment.
And, of course, take it off before you go to sleep!