Female breasts are an important body part of every woman from aesthetic aspect and regarding their functionality.
Female Breasts Anatomy
The female breasts are two organs located on the anterior chest wall. They are glandular organs also known as mammary glands. Main role of the female breasts is to secrete milk for nutrition and immunological protection of the offspring. Milk is produced by the lobules of the mammary gland and is drained out into lactiferous ducts that transfer the milk to the nipples.
The breasts are also made up of connective tissue such as collagen and elastic, adipose tissue and Cooper’s ligaments. The breasts contain a large number of blood vessels and nerves. Blood is delivered to the breast tissue via the internal thoracic artery. Venous drainage of the breast is done through the auxiliary vein.
Female Breast Development
The breasts in females grow and develop during puberty. Development and growth of the female breasts is promoted by sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. The Tanner stage for breast development in females refers to folding down of the breasts on the chest wall that takes place in pubertal age.
The female breasts are found to be asymmetrical. It has been observed that the left breast is often slightly larger in size comparing to the right breast. In rare cases, one of the breasts remains completely undeveloped. Breast hypoplasia is a medical condition in which either one or both breasts fail to develop. Virginal breast hypertrophy is the medical term for rare disorder marked by extreme breast development that occurs during puberty.
Appearance of Female Breasts
The appearance of the female breasts differs regarding their size and position. The outward appearance of the female breasts is not directly linked to the internal anatomy and lactation potential of the breasts. The shape of the female breasts is largely determined by the Cooper’s ligament as well as the chest wall and the base of the breasts.
Female Breast Changes
The breast changes may occur due to variety of reasons. Size of the breast may change in time with an increase in adipose tissue. Changes in body weight influence the breast size, causing them to enlarge with weight gain or to reduce in size with weight loss. Rapid increase in the breast size often causes development of stretch marks on the skin of the breasts.
The main changes in the breast tissue occur during puberty and pregnancy. In pregnancy, the breasts typically increase in size and become firmer. The nipples tend to increase too and become darker.
Menstrual cycle also causes changes in the size of female breasts. Enlargement of the breasts may result out of the use of combined oral birth control pills. On the other hand, reduction in size of the female breasts may be caused by low estrogen level.