Boobs: they’re a hot topic. Whether it’s making them larger, making them smaller, keeping them healthy, or exactly how much and how often to drape them in fabric, the world’s obsession with breasts is obvious. Whether that’s an ingrained urge we carry over from childhood or not, nearly everyone at least finds them a bit curious. To prove we’re not just milking it, we decided to do a bit of digging and learn more about the bountiful breast. Push up a chair, snuggle in, and let these 10 fast facts about boobs bounce around in your brain.
10. How Many Nipples?!
Most of us think of nipples (at least in terms of humans) as being something which most people have a pair of. Several nipples? That’s something reserved for cats, dogs, and cattle… or is it? As it turns out, it’s not that unusual at all for people to have more than just two. Up to 6 percent of women and 3 percent of men have polythelia, a genetic condition that spurs on the growth of a third nipple. Polythelia can occur nearly anywhere on the body–including the face, scalp, feet, and torso!
9. Sweet, Natural Nectar
Dads everywhere discover this factoid accidentally by swigging from the wrong milk jug in the refrigerator: breast milk is actually quite sweet. Were it a beverage, it would be classified as a dessert drink rather than dairy. On average, every cup of breast milk contains around 17 grams of sugar–about half of the amount in a small can of cola. Comparatively, cow’s milk contains just 13 grams.
8. A Perfect Match Is Rare
Breasts can and often do grow independently of one another, especially throughout puberty and early adolescence. It is common for women to have one dominant breast that’s up to a cup size larger than the other. For some women, this incidental difference is negligible. In extreme cases, augmentation or reduction can reduce the imbalance and restore confidence. This condition can occur in men, too, but is far more common in women.
7. Fittin’ Ain’t Easy
Men’s underwear is a simple purchase: measure the waist, make sure the goods fit inside. Not so with women’s bras, where getting the right fit can require several measurements or a bit of trial and error. Women need to measure not only the band around the bust, but also the cup size, and both can fluctuate by an inch or more throughout the month. Worse yet, they’re often expensive–up to $50 per bra is normal. Yikes!
6. Caffeine Is A Pain In The Breast
If you’re female and have noticed a connection between drinking coffee and tender, sore breasts, you’re not losing it! Research shows that caffeine overstimulates the nerves in the breasts and may even cause swelling, tenderness, or leakage in nursing mothers. This is especially true for women who have a condition called fibrosis, where breast tissue forms small, benign lumps that can sometimes be painful.
5. Smoking Is Bad For The Boobies
We all start smoking for the same reason: it looks glamorous, and we probably think it makes us look ultra-cool around our friends, too. But every cigarette contains an avalanche of chemicals that can cause everything from emphysema to lung cancer. Yuck! Worse yet, it turns out that cigarettes break down elastin, a substance in skin and tissue that keeps breasts perky and prevents sagging. Too much smoking can quite literally cause your breasts to sag over time.
4. Men Can Develop Breasts, Too
Though it’s very rare, some men do experience breast tissue growth due to a condition called gynecomastia. The disorder is spurred on by a hormonal imbalance, and can sometimes be caused by certain drugs, too. Any substance or illness that increases prolactin in the body, in fact, can lead to unusual breast tissue development. But not every male breast is made up of real breast tissue; fat accumulation in the area is possible, too. The latter is an issue that’s much easier to fix.
3. All Breasts Can Leak
Breastfeeding mothers are naturally the most common individuals to experience leakage or discharge, but it’s possible with everyday men and women, too. Some people just naturally seem to produce a small amount of lubrication now and again. Others leak profusely and may need to wear breast pads to mask it. Any more than a drop or two of fluid outside of nursing is cause for concern– see your doctor to rule out hormone conditions.
2. It’s Not All About The Orbs
There’s a tendency to think of the breast as only the orb in the center itself, but breast tissue actually extends deep into the armpit and around the side of the chest. This is why physicians recommend that women self-examine not only the heaviest part of the breast, but the outer tissues, too. Lumps and bumps are often normal– after all, there are milk glands in there– but should always be investigated by a physician.
1. Breasts Come In Many Sizes
We’re used to seeing breasts in magazines that fall under very specific sizes–usually somewhere between a B-cup and a D-cup. But that’s far from where the largest or smallest breast size falls. At AAA, a bra offers just 1/2-inch of room out from the chest wall, while an L-cup offers several inches of space instead. At least that’s what’s available for manufactured products. Custom-made bras extend the creative possibilities to a robust V or even larger!
Congratulations on making it to the end! You should be applauded for staying abreast of the latest developments. Whether you’re a girl who’s just trying to get the support she needs to step out in confidence or a guy who believes that boobs are a work of art, one point is always true–understanding boobs and how they work can benefit you. From preventing health problems to keeping them looking their best long into the future, knowledge is exactly what you need. Are these the breast facts? It’s tough to say; we’re still weighing the evidence for balance. Have something better? We want to know–bounce in and let us know what you know about boobs in the comments below.