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Dear Dr. Kate: I Hate My Small Breasts!

Thu, Jul 9, 2009

Advice, What's Up Doc?

fried_eggsphoto by Phillie_Casablanca

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City and she answers your medical questions here once a week. To ask her your own question, click here.

Dr. Kate,

I am almost to the point of desperation with the small size of my breasts. For years I have been contemplating a breast augmentation, but I am scared of the pain/recovery time, and nervous of the long-term possible effects, plus the expense is too much. Other than surgery, is there anything, ANYTHING AT ALL, such as herbal pills/supplements, estrogen pills/injections, whatever, proven to work and maintain, and/or to “restart” breast growth? I am on the Yasmin birth control pill, and one of the side effects of Yasmin is possible breast enlargement…didn’t work on me! Please don’t tell me to be happy with what I have; no offense but you don’t know how I look braless or without padded, underwire bras! I am very self-conscious in intimate situations. To look semi-proportionate in t-shirts I HAVE TO wear thickly padded underwire bras while out in public/away from home. I don’t wear tank tops, low-cut tops, bathing suits, or any top which focuses on the chest; I don’t naturally fill them out. I am: female, 33 yrs., large body frame and heavyset, 5′ 7″…with small B-cup breasts that make me feel deformed and disproportionate; I look like I have man-boobs!

– Boobless

Dear Boobless,

The simplest answer to your question is no. Many pills, creams, etc., claim to enlarge your breasts, without any evidence that they do. And any medication that actually works to make your breasts grow — generally herbs and hormones — put you at an increased risk of breast cancer. Birth control pills do (safely) cause breast enlargement for some women — and if one brand of pills doesn’t work, another might — but it’s impossible to predict.

Mechanical means (suction systems, etc.) don’t seem to last long-term, and are arduous at best. The Bravia system makes you wear a suction-cup-like bra for 10 hours a day for 10 weeks. I believe it to be safe, but who can really do that? Plus, once you stop the suction, your breasts will go back to their normal size.

It’s hard for me to not talk about breast acceptance — how any partner who sees you naked is simply happy to be there…how you always look thinner with smaller breasts…how there’s less to sag as you get older. And B-cups are not that small — check out the photos in this month’s Glamour magazine: It’s got a feature all about breasts, including celebrities looking fabulous at every cup size. (The web version of the article is text-only; you’ll have to stop by your nearest newsstand to see the pics.)

So what can you do? Try a different combination of birth control pills, buff up your pectoral muscles to maximize what you’ve got, and only consider surgery as the final alternative if you feel you don’t want to live any other way.

Have any of you tried things to increase the size of your breasts?

–Dr. Kate

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.

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33 Responses to “Dear Dr. Kate: I Hate My Small Breasts!”

  1. sympathetic Says:

    I know how just how you feel. I just wear padded bras and try to focus on my awesome bum.

    In an intimate situation, have you tried quarter or demi bras? Not perfect, but better than nothing.

  2. Helixbill Says:

    Only go out with men who have small hands!

    Seriously, I think B is a great size and any man who bases his opinion of you on your breast size is an idiot and you don’t want to be around him anyway.

    One of my long ago lady friends was a small A and I still think she was one of the best girlfriends I ever had. Too bad I was not ready to be serious at that time, I probably missed out on a great lady.

    Another of my long ago lady friends had C’s or D’s courtesy of cosmetic surgery. If you want to know what that feels like to a man put a couple of oranges in your bra and see how they feel. I never felt like I could really hug her since her boobs kept me at a distance. Nice lady but turn-off boobs.

    Be proud of your B size. 30 years from now you will be grateful you didn’t have large breasts.

  3. impetuousoddity Says:

    Develop your upper body strength; also. a smaller waist line can also help your breasts appear larger. If, after trying those methods you’re still unsatisfied with your appearance, bite the bullet and get implants.

    Positive self-image begins with a positive attitude about yourself. I too have small breasts (medium A-cup, 5′ 8″) and I’ve seen other females fret and frown over their physical appearance (“My boobs are too big”; I hate the way my ass looks).

    People waste their lives comparing themselves to Western society’s standard of perfection. Life is way too short to achieve that goal; few seldom do anyway.

  4. tico Says:

    Easy — get pregnant, have a baby and then breastfeed for as long as possible. Most women I talk to say their breasts stay at least a cup size bigger even after their baby is weaned. Sometimes 2, 3 or 4 cups while you’re breast feeding.

  5. nobody Says:

    Huge boobs aren’t everything. Some guys (and chicks) are in to small boobs, some are into big boobs. Some are into athletic women, some are into overweight women. Some are into short women, tall women, pretty women, ugly women, young women, old women. Some are into dudes.

    I find chicks with large boobs to be awkward looking, and would just get confused as to what to do with them during sex. I dont like big boobs at all. And plenty of people don’t. Just dont worry what the current stereotype is.

  6. somebody Says:

    I was on the birth control seasonale (sp?) and it made my boobs a lot bigger. I was naturally almost a b and after being on the pill for about six months I was almost a c. It made me gain weight all over though. I’ve always struggled with being underweight so I didn’t mind but other women might. Also, only get your period every three months!

    Good luck girl and try to love those ta-tas just as they are!

  7. Rolando Says:

    As a guy who loves small breasts this letter made me quite sad. I hope ‘Boobless’ gets what she needs after all is said and done, but I also hope that turns out to be nothing at all.

  8. Rosa Says:

    I was on Yasmin for a while and switched to another brand. Why? Yasmin made my boobs bigger, at least 1/2 a cup size, but they HURT when they were bigger. They were sore and painful to workout and sometimes even to walk in. I’d rather have comfortable, smaller boobs than my painfully, hormonally swollen ones.

  9. maddie Says:

    That’s sad! I don’t even have a b cup and love my boobs – small and perky! Embrace it, you can wear shirts without a bra! And remember, if you get surgery, you might hate them more than your old ones. Just look at all the bad hack jobs out there.

  10. The Girl With The Glasses Says:

    Well you can always gain weight. That’s when my boobs got bigger.

  11. Les Says:

    As a young woman with < A sized breasts AND a below average looking butt, I know exactly what you are talking about.

    However, I have found that as long as I don’t mention it guys will not either.

    After all, I have been with guys who have less than average penis sizes as well and I was not at all concerned with that. Why should they be concerned with my below average body parts?

  12. Jen Says:

    While I hated growing up with small breasts (I couldn’t even fill an A cup until I was nursing triplets, and they’ve gone almost back down to that now), I learned to love them. I can wear almost any clothes and look like a model, I never have to wear a bra, and now that I’m in my mid-40s, I certainly don’t have to worry about sagging. While my friends are all worried because their breasts are now starting to head south in a big way, I’m still as perky as a 13 year old. There are advantages :-)

  13. divachick Says:

    Why would anyone want bigger boobs? If you were in my position than you would be very happy with what you got and stop complaining. I’ve always had a large chest, and after having my 1st kid they got ridiculously big. I had a reduction and thanked the Lord for the surgery. After gaining weight and having another kid this year, they are bigger than before. I will be having another surgery next year because they are painful and the repercussions are detrimental to your health. Back pain, shoulder pain, sweatiness…etc. It’s not cute wearing comfort straps with a tank top. Be happy with what you have. I can’t wait to be a size B instead of a 40DDD.

  14. Paul Says:

    Ladies….just be happy with what you have…from experience with my ladies friends, that those with small breasts are more sensitive when they are played with or sucked then those with large breasts..not always the case but more than none. Personally even guys that love larger breasts will tell you anything that you cant get into your mouth is wasted.

  15. Tim Says:

    I have always preferred smaller breasts. Big ones have a tendency to sag (especially as you get older) and that is not very attractive. I’ll take little perky “A’s” over big hanging “D’s” anytime. And if it were suddenly decided that I had to live out the rest of my life as a girl instead of a guy, I would be happy to have a “nipples only” chest. Bras seem like they are uncomfortable anyway.

  16. Molly Says:

    I hated my A cups for a long time, and I am SO glad that I am over it. I had friends in high school with C to DD sizes who seriously contemplated reductions, and I always was relieved that I didn’t have to hunt for good sports bras and that I could buy shirts that close in the front and cute bathing suits that I’m not going to bounce out of. I dress for my shape and a push-up bra can’t hurt if I want to have cleavage, but these days I’m looking for a pretty and comfortable bra rather than a super push-up water bra.

    Life is too short to hate your body. Unless you drastically change your lifestyle, you’re probably never going to be more physically attractive than you are right now, so be thankful for what you’ve got because you’ll miss it in a few years. Thank goodness I realized that in my 20s, because I hate to think that I hated my body so much as a teen when I was so attractive and I couldn’t imagine hitting 40 or 50 and realizing that I’ve never once liked the body I’ve been in all these years. Think of how much worse you could have it and embrace what you have! You’re healthy, you’re not obese, you have all your limbs; your body is going to be attractive to plenty of people, but not if you’re insecure about it.

  17. nick Says:

    more than a mouthful is a waste.
    the problem with larger breasts is that as you get older they droop MUCH more than the smaller ones.

    Don’t worry about small breasts. There are a LOT of men out there who prefer the A or B cups

  18. cnb Says:

    Actually, exercising the muscles beneath the breasts does help to perk up what you do have. I am a B cup also and I have to say that my boobs look nicer and more appealing. Of course my bf doesn’t really care too much, but it matters to me….
    There are still times where I get depressed about not having a larger cup size, but it doesn’t last too long. Friends of mine that have big breast wish they had my size. Of course I give them ‘the face’, but they really don’t like the back issues they have or saggy boobs.

  19. Joe Says:

    I absolutely LOVE small breasts. They are *incredibly* sexy. I think implants are trashy. I assure you there are tons of guys that agree with me. It’s too bad that the stereotype has become that most guys love big huge boobs. I don’t mean this to be mean, but boobless describes herself as “heavyset” — perhaps losing some weight would make her feel less “deformed and disproportionate”. And frankly, much healthier and happier, I’m sure.

  20. hedgehog Says:

    Big breasts are a pain in the ass most of the time. I know, I have them :( It’s a pain to find a bra, it’s a pain to find a top that fits, it’s a pain to listen to all the idiots whispering or even shouting remarks behind you. I would happily give half of them for one day of going out of the house without a bra and once in my life buying a bra without anyone looking at me like I was a freak. Boobless, be careful what you wish for…:)

  21. james Says:

    I love whatever that woman I fall in love brings in. I do not screen a woman based on her breasts, or other things.
    The woman I like and fall in for is what I take home, and I accept her with all her attributes and shortcomings.
    Years ago I went out with a woman with big implants. Let me tell you I do not ever want a woman like that, unless off course I learn that after the fact. Her breasts were hard and cold, like an actual barbie doll’s
    Problem is that a lot of women are going the implant route…what a waste!

  22. phatbootycutie Says:

    Boobless, I have large breasts, however I do understand how u feel in regards to feeling inadequate. We as women ALL have self issues that we feel insecure about, and no one can usually say anything to make us feel any better about it.maybe you should look into implants for your own gratification, from what you’ve stated in your letter it seems as if it would make u feel so much better about yourself. My only recomendation besides making sure the ogmentation looks as natural as possible by going to a good surgean, and NOT getting them TOO BIG.

    I am a completely heterosexual woman, however, I look just like other women do, and too big is TOO MUCH. Good luck on whatever you decide to do, whether it’s implants or ultimately accepting what you have.

  23. Elizabeth Says:

    At the risk of sounding “hippy-ish”, I really wish we could just all find a way to love ourselves. I really hate that women are basically pushed by society to all but hate themselves because of their physical appearance – we all have boobs that are too small, or too big, or we’re too short or tall, or fat or thin, or we have too many wrinkles or what have you. I think it sucks. Women are beautiful, no matter what size boobs or butts or waistlines we have. And someday, someone will love us, despite, or maybe even FOR these percieved flaws. I mean – James, I know we disagree about other stuff, but I truly appreciate what you’ve said on this post – that if you care for a woman, all of those little things she worries about don’t matter. And that’s true for a lot of guys I know too.

    I hope that this poster can find a way to really care about herself, rather than doing something dangerous. Not that I would judge if she did! I just mean, its very very sad that people feel so pushed to change themselves to some ridiculous standard of beauty.

  24. T Says:

    i know how this lady feels. i have always felt that way, but being athletic, it was always hard to have any typed of curves. i disagree about the getting pregnant part. yes, you do end up having bigger boobs, but that only lasts a little while and then you end up with saggy boobs…which suck…especially when you’re young….and a lot of the time, your boobs end up smaller than what you had before. i say if you’re not happy with your size, buy some lingerie or bras that make you feel sexy and look the size you want.

  25. james Says:

    Elizabeth, we can disagree on some things and agree on many others, that is what adults do, respect each other and celebrate our differences.

    About this issue, I think the poster needs to concentrate on her weight problem. She says she is heavy set and has a large body frame.
    With exercise and proper dieting, she can get that hidden body of hers out for her to enjoy. Once she gets rid of the extra pounds, her beautiful feminine body will shine and her breats will look perfect.
    I exercise a lot, did it all my life, and I know a few female friends that do so. I can tell you that once you get in shape, your body will no longer deposit fat cells in just about any part of your body ( because of the fat burning due to exercise and proper diet )…so the part that is left, naturally rish in fat cells, which is your breasts, will then become the magnet of your remaining fat storage functions ( body functions ), so your body will get leaner, and your breasts will get fuller.
    And one last thing, a man that tells you or screens you for breast size is a piece of garbage that you want very far away from you.

  26. taco Says:

    Since when is B small? I thought that was average. Try having A’s lady.

  27. bettyboo Says:

    ok, sorry if this sounds weird, but it’s the best real world example I know that, even if a man may have an ‘ideal’ body shape in his mind he can be very happy with someone who doesn’t fit that ideal if that’s who he falls in love with.. It’s pretty obvious my dad is a boob man, i mean nobody watches baywatch for the plot, but he has been very happily married to my mum, an A cup at best most of the time, for 35 years. They’ve raised 3 kids together, dealt with all the hard times life throws at them and still very obviously love each other and are attracted to each other (they still do that good coupley thing where if you’re close you touch, not in a sexual way (in front of us at least), more a comfort way, lots of hugs, a hand on a knee when watching telly etc.) Anyway, the message is, a guy who loves your personality, who you have chemistry with, who is attracted to X, Y or Z about you is not going to walk away because he likes a D cup! Love yourself as you are, do what you can to improve your self esteem, be it diet, exercise, a makeover or gorgeous undies or whatever and be happy with the unique person that is you and even if your perfect guy is a boob man he will love you and your B cups :0)

  28. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Look on the bright side. Smaller boobs are less likely to sag, you’ll stay firm longer, you have a lower risk of some breast cancers, and you can always get a nice push up bra with little pads or water pads on the sides and bottoms and PUSH those babes together.

    Women with smaller breasts have no problem feeding their children, as most women have the same amount of glandular tissue, the size is usually fat deposits. Yes, pregnancy and breastfeeding will make your breasts temporarility larger, but I don’t think bringing a child into the world for the reason of JUST making your breasts larger is a good idea. Also, a lot of us leak a lot while breastfeeding, so our breasts are temporarily off limits during sex anyway, at least for some things.

    I don’t have many hang ups about sex but I HATED my husband putting his mouth on my nipples when I was breastfeeding our kids. (My regular Cs balloned to double Ds, (Es the first week with each kid) and my Man’s tongue was hanging out for the first few weeks I was nursing our babies, *sigh* until I had to put the breaks on, because I was so sore and uncomfortable due to milk coming in. I had a visceral “ICK” reaction to his wanting to get too close to them at first (“Hey, that’s for the baby!”), not something I am used to. (Neither was he.) I was freaked out milk would come out, and he said he didn’t care, but it just make me feel prickly and gave me the heeby jeebies and didn’t want him to do it again until the kids were older, and only nursing a small amount and I wasn’t making gallons of milk a day. HE didn’t care, I did. Any other time, I love that kind of attention, but a lot of us, when we have babies get “baby brain” and it puts sex on the back burner for a while. That doesn’t mean “no sex” (well at least not for me) but just “not everything we usually do, and not the frequency we used to have.”)

    There’s not a lot sexy about newly lactating breasts. Beautiful, yes. Natural, yes. Healthy, Absolutely. Sensual, yes. Sexy, not really.

    Most mothers are really focused on their babies when they are young and although good men will be patient, infants are never a boost to anyone’s sex life. (except for the part where you are making them.)

    Anyway, I don’t think making a human being just to get larger breasts is a good idea. Most women do NOT have their breasts stay larger, a few do (as the female breast is not considered finished developing until it has lactated) but who knows? But, I’d save the baby making until YOU are ready for a child.

    In the meantime, make the best of what you have. A lot of men LOVE small perky breasts (What’s not to love? They are adorable!) and think “more than a handful is a waste.” My sister used to have an “Itty Bitty Titty Club” T shirt (our mother HATED IT) but it really boosted her self esteem. She has Bs and for some reason thought THEY were “small” while the guys loved everything about her, and still do.

    Be proud and confident about what you have. :) You’ll never have to resort to a torturous “sports bra” just to work out, and when men talk to you, they’ll spend more time talking to you FACE instead of your chest. All good things.

  29. Kristina Says:

    I also have small B cup sized breasts and have suffered through trying to find ways to push and lift and so on for years. I am 22 years old and have a 1 year old daughter and breastfeeding seemed to only make things worse. BUT, i can now honestly say i have become more comfortable in my skin (boobs and all) WHY? because of my partner. We have been together for 5 years now and he has been singing the praises of my small chest from day one. It has taken me this long to gain my confidence but when you find a loving partner who will make you feel beautiful no matter what size any part of you is it makes all the difference. I was borderline going in for breast aug. a year ago but now would never think of it. His opinion (outside of my own) is all that matters. How about search for a greater confidence within before permanently altering the outside?

  30. Kay Says:

    It’s sad to say but us ladies always want what we don’t have, it sucks. Many small chested women gripe about wanting juicy juicy mangos and large chested women gripe about theirs and long for a pair of mosquito bites. That’s not all; straight haired women want curly hair and curly haired women want straight locks, and there are so many more examples. We are all doing such disservice to ourselves. Instead of sounding older than you really are fussing and complaining about something we can’t easily changewithout drastic and possibly potential side affects which you would already know if you are not willing to chance to risk negative outcomes by putting yourself under the knife. If you have big ones you can go on a diet or exercise and more specifically bench presses should athleticize your chest. If you have small ones certain pectoral muscular workouts are supposed to work the pecs which may make the breasts appear larger only because they are pushed out so hey it’s all about appearance bay-be! Just avoid too much or you will look like the very muscular but strong as tanks muscle ladies from the musclehead magazine(hmm not sure if steroids are at play though) and apparently benchpresses tend to flatten the chest. Just a few tidbits I picked up along the years.

  31. Brooke Says:

    You should be happy with a B cup. I couldn’t fit in one for ages! I totally admire the girls who wear low cut shirts when they are smaller than small. It’s beautiful and shows their confidence!

  32. Johnny Says:

    ^ I admire them too!

  33. tps Says:

    Ladies! Truth alert: Guys don’t really care. Larger boobs are a bonus, but boob size is not a deal-breaker unless the guy is a jackass. Fake books look awful and the dirty little secret is that guys do not like them. I hate them and find them a complete turn-off. Normal boobs, small, large, saggy, or firm, are sexy if they are on the woman you love.

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