Breast asymmetry is one of the topics which I deal with often in my profession as a body image consultant. Many women are greatly troubled both emotionally and physically by comparative discrepancies in the size of their breasts. While there is no universal solution for resolving asymmetrical breasts, there are many possible treatment options which can be directed at the mind or the body. Any woman who is bothered by a noticeable difference in her breast size from one side to the other should certainly take the time to research her options and then decide if she will choose to become proactive in her desire to equalize her breast proportions.
Many women do not know that asymmetry is not only common, but is actually the rule. The vast majority of women have breasts which are 2 different sizes, with the typical noticeable variation being about a 10% difference in volume from right to left. It is certainly not unusual for women to have breasts which are even 20% to 30% different in their relative size. However, while small discrepancies may be noted by women, they are unlikely to produce significant anatomical or emotional difficulties. When the size difference becomes more obvious, regardless of whether a woman in fully clothed or not, then the problems are more likely to begin…
Breasts which are completely different sizes can occur for many reasons. Many normal breasts show no unusual symptoms or diagnosed conditions, yet simply grow differently. This is considered idiopathic breast asymmetry, since no causation can be ascertained. Cases of unilateral breast hypertrophy can make one breast much larger than the other and may even force a woman into drastic surgery if the gland does not stop growing eventually. Likewise, cases of unilateral breast hypoplasia can make one breast not develop at all, making the “normal” unaffected breast seem huge by comparison. Injury, disease or trauma to the breasts can also be responsible for a differential in perceived or actual size.
Physical effects of asymmetrical breasts are obvious. The woman will have a tough time finding clothes which fit correctly. This is particularly true for bras and bathing suits, which can be a real nightmare to shop for… Many women resort to stuffing the smaller side, using a breast prosthetic or silicone bra pad or getting their garments made to order by a tailor.
Although the physical effects are noticeable, the emotional effects are the ones which will best justify treatment. Noticeable breast asymmetry can cause a wide range of problematic psycho-emotional issues, including anger, a lack of confidence, a poor body image, depression and even psychogenic pain syndromes. Many of the women I have worked with reported having poor relationships due to their insecurities or taunting which occurred in their past. For women who are truly troubled by the size difference, treatment is not only humane; it is recommended.
The treatments range from conservative to drastic, depending on the nature of the asymmetry issue and the women’s actual preferences and lifestyle. The subjects of breast reduction and enlargement are not the topic of this article, but it should be noted that women with all manner of breast abnormalities can benefit from surgical and non-surgical solutions for their affective conditions. As a female health advocate, I take pride in helping women to learn all they can about the entire range of treatment options and then allowing them to choose the therapy or product which will work best to fulfill their own specific criteria, expectations and needs. It is in this respect that I find my work to be most rewarding…