How Your Breasts Change As You Age — 30s, 40s, 50s & Beyond

Just as our vaginas and vulvas change as we age, so do our breasts. These changes range from how breasts look to how they feel, due to a myriad of reasons, including age, hormones, pregnancy, and breast cancer and reconstructive surgery. 

We’re not typically briefed on the health and development of our breasts, except for maybe the typical health class spiel we receive in high school – like how they’ll grow and develop milk for babies to breastfeed – but that’s pretty much it. That’s why it’s important to know how our chest and breast tissue changes throughout the decades. We spoke with medical experts about how your boobs change as you age and why. 

In Your 20’s

According to Dr. Alexander Zuriarrain, a board-certified plastic surgeon, the architecture of your breast changes and so often over time. “This is a slow process that is happening between the ages of 20 and 50 where women have a change from fibrous breasts to breasts that are composed mainly of fat,” he explains. “[Over time] the breast is not as firm. The older the female, the less dense the breasts tend to be.”

Then, of course, there are the obvious changes including weight gain and loss (which might explain why your bra size fluctuates with any changes in your weight throughout this decade) and pregnancy, which may or may not happen in your 20’s. (The average age of pregnancy in the U.S. is 27, according to the CDC’s latest report on maternal age). 

Regardless, your breasts should feel firmer in your 20’s, and softer as time goes on. “Every decade causes the breast to soften,” Zuriarrain says. “This leads to less firmness that is normally seen during the 20’s.” That’s one of the reasons why it’s important to give yourself a self breast exam — you should get well acquainted with your breast tissue as early as your 20’s and understand how it changes over time, so you can be aware of any abnormalities that could signify a health issue. 

In Your 30’s

If you’re a mother, which you are likely to be in your 30’s given CDC data on the increase of births in this category, you’re well aware that your breasts are not what they used to be. 

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