If you are under 18, please make sure you have your parents’ permission before providing us with any personal details.
It’s really important to learn what is normal for your breasts or chest so you can spot any changes to your breast or chest heath. We teamed up with CoppaFeel! to provide you with the information you need to look after your breast or chest health.
It is important to get to know what is normal for your breasts or chest so you can tell if something is unusual. We are all different, and nobody knows your body better than you. CoppaFeel! advocate for looking after your breast and chest health by:
It’s not only people with breasts who are susceptible to breast cancer. It can affect people with chests (including men), too, as there is still breast tissue. Read more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer on the CoppaFeel! website.
Take a look at CoppaFeel!’s A-Z of Boob for information on how different everyone’s breasts and chests are, and how to get to know yours so you can look after your health.
You can also sign up to their helpful text reminder service to remind you when it is time to check your breast tissue.
Whatever your age or gender, knowing your body and being aware of the symptoms of breast cancer is really important. If in doubt, always get any worrying changes checked out by a GP.
This page has been developed with support from CoppaFeel!, the first breast cancer charity in the UK to solely create awareness amongst young people. You can find out more about their work and get lots more useful information and support at www.coppafeel.org
Bras are a type of underwear which support and/or cover breasts. Wearing a bra is a choice: no one has to wear a bra if they don’t want to.
There are many myths about bras. Have a look at these ones:
There is no evidence to show that wearing a bra to bed will affect your breasts in any way, either by making them more or less ‘perky’. If you do choose to wear a bra to bed for comfort, choose one that is very soft and doesn’t have a wire, and isn’t too constricting.
There is no evidence that shows a connection between wearing a bra and an increased risk of breast cancer.
The connective tissue in breasts is made up of collagen and elastin, and as people age this starts to break down, causing breasts to be less ‘perky’. Wearing a bra will not prevent this from happening, and in fact, neither will doing exercise or avoiding breastfeeding. The two main things which have been shown to speed up the breakdown of collagen are not wearing sunscreen when in the sun, and smoking. You can read more about the effects of smoking here.
Ultimately, your breasts will change as you age, and there is nothing wrong with this – they will be wonderful at every stage!
A well-fitted bra should never be uncomfortable to wear. If it is, you are wearing the wrong size. Lots of shops which specialise in selling underwear will have free bra-fitting services, where a professional will measure you and work with you to find a bra that gives you good support and is comfortable to wear. These sessions should be calm and friendly, and the person fitting you will not judge the way your breasts look – they are there to help! If you haven’t been to a bra-fitting before, you might feel more comfortable arranging to go at the same time as a friend or family member (they won’t be in the actual fitting with you).
Although we have standardised sizing, most shops will vary in how their clothes fit within these sizes, so the same ‘size’ can fit completely differently depending on where you are shopping. Also, bodies can fluctuate in size and shape, and this is particularly true of chests, which can change not only over long periods of time but also with your menstrual cycle. The best thing to do is get fitted whenever you are buying a new bra.
Some transgender and non binary people may choose to bind to reduce the appearance of their breasts or chest. It can make people feel more comfortable in their bodies and relieve gender dysphoria. Binding is a choice and no one should feel like they have to bind if they don’t want to.
Binding is not without physical risks if not used correctly. The LGBT Foundation recommends the following:
The LGBT Foundation also suggests what to avoid:
Read more about binding here.
Read more about gender here.
Ultimately, breasts and chests are just another body part, and it is important to be aware of your health and what to do if you notice any changes. Equally, breasts and chests can be a wonderful part of your body for experiencing pleasure, so having a positive relationship with your breasts or chest can be a valuable part of exploring and enjoying your sexuality. Read more about sexuality here.
100% FREE & CONFIDENTIAL