What Causes Sagging Breasts?

Breasts are considered one of the most feminine and beautiful aspect of a woman’s personality. This beauty however gets affected when your breasts begin to sag. Sagging of breasts occurs due to increasing age as well as a decreasing amount of collagen and elastin fibers. These fibers get decreased either due to some disorders or by some other factors such as smoking or lack of vitamin B and C.

Sagging of breasts, which is also known as breast ptosis is the downward hanging of breasts due to decreased elasticity and increased weight. Even though sagging of breasts is a common occurrence in post-menopausal women, it creates problems when it occurs in young age or in teenagers.

What Causes Sagging Breasts?

What Causes Sagging Breasts?

Here are some of the causes of sagging of breasts that, if known, can help you in taking some precautionary and preventive measures to avoid the problem:


All women tend to experience sagging of breasts in their life, some of us sooner rather than later. The common problem of sagging of breasts with increasing age is due to the fact that in old age less elastin and collagen fibers are synthesized by the body.

Also as the age increases, production of hormone estrogen decreases. As a result of which, breasts tend to droop and sag because this hormone help in increasing the elasticity of the fibers and also in strengthening ligaments as well as maintaining a protein present in breasts called collagen which helps in making breasts firm. Even though this problem can somewhat be delayed and controlled by supportive bras and massaging of breasts daily with firming creams available in the market, increasing age is one of the most common causes of sagging of breasts.


Genetics is also a very important cause in determining if your breasts will sag early in life or not. This is because of the fact that firmness of breasts depends on the amount of elastin and collagen fibers present in the breasts and the strength of the ligaments that support the breasts. These fibers are in fact proteinaceous which means they are made up of proteins whose production is controlled by DNA or genes. That is how much of these fibers will be made is determined by the information stored in your chromosomes, therefore genetics is also one of the causes of sagging of breasts.

Heavy Breasts

One of the causes of sagging of breasts is having heavy breasts. Gravity pulls the breasts downward, therefore, it stands to reason that the heavier the breasts, the more gravitational pull that acts on it and pulls it downward. So if your breasts are heavier, notwithstanding the elasticity of your breasts, strength of ligaments and the growing age; chances are that your breasts will sag more quickly than the ladies who have smaller and lighter breasts.

Weight Gain

If you have gained quite a lot of weight recently, it can also be a cause of breast sagging. This is because when you put on weight breasts also tend to get larger and heavier due to increased fat content. This leads to the same problem as explained in the above point, which is increased gravitational pull causes sagging of breasts.

Weight Loss

Just as weight gain causes breasts to sag, same goes with significant weight loss in a short amount of time. This is because of the fact that when you lose weight, some of that fat is lost from your breasts. If that weight loss happens in a short period of time, in most of the cases skin and muscle tightening doesn’t occur as rapidly causing breasts to hollow out and sag. Therefore weight loss can also be a cause of sagging of breasts.


Pregnancy is also a cause of breast sagging and drooping. Directly after pregnancy if the woman does not breast feed the child, it causes shrinkage of breasts due to shrinking of mammary ducts and glands causing the breasts to lose their elasticity leading to sagging breasts. If the same procedure is followed in subsequent pregnancies then this problem worsens after each pregnancy. So, more the number of pregnancies more is the sagging in breasts.

Weaning of Baby

Weaning of the baby after breast feeding can also be a cause of breast sagging sometimes. This is also because of the above mentioned reasons. Once the baby is weaned from the breasts, the mammary ducts and glands shrink due to the drying of milk which is no longer needed causing breast sagging due to reduced elasticity of ligaments.


Menopause is also a major cause of sagging in breasts. And the reason for it is again somewhat similar to the one explained in the above two headings. Once menopause occurs in women, mammary ducts and glands shrink in size and dry up as they are no longer needed by the women’s body. This causes hollowing out of breasts and reduces elasticity leading to breast sagging. One other reason for it is that, after menopause release of hormone estrogen is reduced which also leads to sagging. It happens due to the fact that this particular hormone helps the connective tissues and ligaments to remain elastic.


Smoking is not only injurious to health, it also causes weakening and sagging of skin especially the skin of your face and breasts. Cigarette smoke contains free radicals which destroys skin cells as well as causes the elastin protein present in our breasts to break down. This reduces the elasticity of the breasts which leads to breast sagging or drooping. So smoking is also one of the causes of breast sagging. Not only this but it also causes sagging of your facial skin and causes premature wrinkles making you look old before your time.


Even though many women believe that wearing a right sized and supportive bra will help prevent their breasts from sagging but it is not true at all. In fact there is no scientific and experimental evidence to support the claim that bras help in preventing sagging of breasts. In fact some researchers believe that wearing tight bras actually have a negative impact on the sagging breasts especially for women who have heavier breasts.

But even though bras are not a preventive measure as far as sagging of beast goes, they can and do help you in maintaining the shape of your already saggy breasts while you are wearing them. This helps women in looking beautiful and feeling confident. But make sure you choose a bra that is neither too tight nor too loose and fits you properly and comfortably. Just don’t wear a bra all the time as it will make the ligaments present in your breasts to get weaker, thinner and less elastic causing your breasts to sag early.


As shocking as it may seem, exercising can also cause your breasts to sag prematurely. Vigorous exercising especially such exercises as running, jogging and skipping etc. can cause your breasts to sag. This is because during such exercises breasts move a lot. Take the example of running- it not only causes upward and downward movement of breasts but also side by side and some forward and backward movement as well. This excessive movement leads to sagging of breasts due to gravity.

Even though this problem can somewhat, be controlled by wearing a comfortable and properly fitted sports bra. The sport bras which have separate fitted cups are more effective in controlling sagging of breasts due to exercising than the ones which simply compress your breasts. It will also be helpful if you alternate running and skipping with other exercises such as swimming etc.

Nutritional Deficiency

Nutritional deficiency such as that of Vitamin B and C can also be a cause of breast sagging. These two vitamins help in the synthesis of elastin and collagen fibers and therefore help in firming your breasts. So if these vitamins are in short supply, chances are your breasts will also start sagging prematurely.

Collagen Deficiency

Various connective tissue deficiency disorders such as collagen deficiency disorders can also cause sagging of breasts. One such example of collagen deficiency disorder is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) which also leads to breast sagging among other things.

So these are almost all the causes that lead to breast sagging in women. Hopefully knowing these causes will help you in preventing the problem of breasts sagging and if you already do have saggy breasts, it will help you in stopping it from getting worse.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 29, 2018

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