The Risks of Wearing a Bra that Doesn’t Fit

Wearing a Bra

What do you normally look for in a bra? Are you shopping for something that will be more comfortable? Or maybe you want the kind that you see in catalogs to enhance your bust? The bottom line is that no matter whether you’re choosing a pushup or sports bra, you should always buy the right fit for your breasts.

According to a study conducted a few years ago by the makers of the “Pillow Bra” in collaboration with the University of Barcelona (Spain), nearly 70% of women wear bras that aren’t suitable for their bodies. They’re either too small, or the underwire doesn’t correspond to the shape of the breast, and so on…

This is an important finding that should be taken into account because it can have more than one negative impact on your health. Pay attention to the following information.

The risks of wearing a bra that doesn’t fit properly

proper fitYour bra isn’t just something to show off your figure and make you feel sexy. It also serves a practical purpose that you need to bear in mind.

You already know that bras are constructed to support, shape, and protect your breasts through a complex pressure system, which you shouldn’t even notice while wearing them. But if you choose the wrong type or size of your body, you might notice redness, soreness, or scratches begin to appear.

Let’s learn a little more.

1. The danger of too much pressure

Think about a bra with underwire, the most popular variety. If you choose the wrong size, according to obstetrics and gynecology specialist Dr. Sanchez-Escalonila Zapardiel, what happens is the following:




  • The underwire presses into your chest.
  • The pressure can damage the ligaments of your breast tissue and cause them to sag.
  • A bra that applies too much pressure can also constrict your blood supply to the breast tissue.

2. A bra that’s too large

Even if it’s just one size too big, you might notice scratches appearing in the short term, and over time it promotes sagging and discomfort in the tendons of the shoulder.

Why? It’s not suited to the shape of your body and without even realizing it, you make small movements and adjustments to correct it that eventually add up.

3. Underwire that doesn’t fit properly

Choosing the right bra for you is never easy. Some women have large breasts but a small torso, making it very difficult to find the right size. Every woman’s body is different, and unfortunately, there’s not always an ideal model for us all.

But experts will tell you that the greatest risk to your health is underwire that doesn’t fit properly. Every time you rub against these wires it subjects your breasts to a high level of stress. The damage is even greater when you choose to sleep in these types of bras. Day by day, the negative effects will increase.

4. Can continued use of a poorly fitting bra increase your risk of breast cancer?

The answer is no. There is no link between bra choice and the development of breast cancer. They have nothing to do with one another. However, other problems that cause inflammation in the breast tissue can lead to cysts, back pain, shoulder pain, and soreness in the breasts themselves.

This is an important thing to remember.

How should you choose the right bra?

bra fitAs we said above, it’s a hard task to find the right bra for you. Some women, based on their build (slim with large breasts, or wide with small breasts), will have a very difficult time finding the style that suits them the best.

Still, try to keep the following in mind:

  • Your bra size won’t always be the same. Hormonal changes can cause some weight gain, or your breasts might swell a bit before you start your period. Ovulation, for example, causes the breasts to grow slightly. Try to take these considerations into account when buying your bra.
  • Measure your chest. To do this, take a measuring tape and find the circumference of your chest at the point just below your breasts. This will give you a number, X, which will correspond to your size (34, 36, 38, 40 – or the number corresponding to your metric system such as 75, 80, 90, 95).
  • As for the cup size, those infamous letters A, B, C, D…how are they measured? It’s simple. Measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust, with the tape straight across and around your back, bringing it to the front. 2. Subtract your band measurement (from step 1) from this bust measurement. The difference calculates your bra size – each inch represents a cup size.
  • Remember that the underwire shouldn’t be below your chest. It shouldn’t be too short or leave red marks on your skin.
  • You also don’t want underwire to dig into the flesh of your breasts.
  • Watch out for the straps, too. If you have large breasts the fabric of the bra and straps can also dig into your skin. Always look for straps that are suitably wide to keep from irritating you and that support the shape and weight of your breasts.

One last tip: Try on every bra in the store. Never take one home without first trying it on.