When Do Breasts Stop Growing?

My breasts are way bigger than most of my friends and they tend to make fun of me whenever they get the chance. They are so MEAN and I can't do anything about it!! My parents always tell me I should be proud of who I am, but at this moment, it doesn't feel that way. Will my breasts stop growing soon at least? Please tell me they will!

ReiGnZ

F, 20, New Jersey

I can't say with any certainty whether you will continue to grow bigger breasts. Breast growth occurs at different rates and over different times for every woman.

Breast buds first appear when growth hormone and estrogen levels rise during the onset of puberty, generally between the ages of eight and 13. In some cases a women's breasts stop growing within one or two years after her first full menstruation. In other cases breast growth can continue into a woman's early twenties.

And there are other factors to consider. Women's breasts often grow larger during pregnancy. In fact, many doctors don't consider a woman's (pre-pregnancy size) breasts to have reached their “final” adult size because having children and lactating can increase breast size exponentially from their adult size.

My advice would be to wait until your breasts have stopped growing before making any decisions. At that point if they’re still bothering you, causing pain and/or emotional distress, I suggest you meet with a plastic surgeon who has experience with breast reduction surgery ("reduction mammoplasty") to discuss which options will be best for you.

I wish I could answer your question but unfortunately I can’t, every woman is different. For some, breast growth continues right through their late teens and into their early twenties.

The good news is that there are simple and effective surgical options which can aesthetically reduce your breast size. However, because your breasts are still growing, I would advise waiting until they’ve completely stopped before pursuing any cosmetic surgery options.

That said, if your daily life is being negatively impacted and you’re unable to participate in athletic activities, have trouble fitting into normal clothes, or suffering from back or shoulder pain, then it's fine to start discussing surgical breast reduction options at this time.

You should be aware, however, that even after surgery your breasts may continue to grow. If you experience significant growth after a breast reduction, it's possible you may need a second reduction mammoplasty at a later date.

Should you decide to consult with a plastic surgeon, I advise you to look for a plastic surgeon who has extensive experience with reduction mammoplasty and a good aesthetic understanding of body proportions and aesthetic contouring. Always be sure to consult with a plastic surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).

Mammary glands grow in response to hormones like estrogen, progesterone, prolactin and others. These hormone levels typically spike at the beginning of puberty, kicking off the adolescent growth spurt and the beginning of breast growth.

While every woman is different, breast development sometimes continues all the way through your teenage years and sometimes only stop growing some time in your early twenties. So while I can't offer you any specific medical advice or predictions, if you're 19 now, there is a chance your breasts will keep growing for a couple more years -- but there's no way to know for sure.

If you feel that your breasts are too large and they are causing you discomfort or embarrassment, keep in mind that breast reduction is a commonly performed, safe surgery. In most cases it’s advisable to wait until your breasts have stopped growing before considering breast reduction surgery. But if you’re experiencing pain or serious quality-of-life issues, then I encourage you to meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss surgical options.

Christine Blaine has 1 Breast Reduction before & after:

Breast Reduction before image performed by Dr. Christine BlaineBreast Reduction after image performed by Dr. Christine Blaine

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Generally speaking, breasts stop growing when puberty ends. In most cases puberty stops (and girls stop growing) somewhere around the ages of 14-16. But as with all things related to puberty, everyone is different. Some girls have an early or short puberty. Others have a late or long puberty. For some, breast growth continues until they reach their early twenties.

Exactly how much each girl's breasts are affected by their increased level of adolescent hormones depends on the number of hormone receptors within her individual gland system. Some women have more hormone receptors than others and are more affected by changes to hormone levels. A girl with more hormone receptors may grow larger breasts with the same amount of hormone stimulus.

By your current age of 19, it's likely most of your breast growth is behind you, but there's no way to say for sure. As a general rule, it's best to wait until breast growth has stopped completely before considering surgical solutions, but exceptions are sometimes made if your breasts are causing pain, discomfort or negatively impacting your day-to-day life. Be aware, however, that repeat surgery may be necessary if your breasts continue to increase in size postoperatively.

A reduction mammoplasty is a safe, straightforward procedure intended for women with breasts large enough to present aesthetic, physical or psychological issues.

If you feel you can’t wait until your breasts have stopped growing, then my advice would be to contact an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience in reduction mammoplasty.

Neil Zemmel has 2 Breast reduction before & afters:

Breast reduction before image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelBreast reduction before image performed by Dr. Neil  ZemmelBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Neil  Zemmel

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It is difficult to say when breast growth will stop, but they generally do by your early 20's.  If you are unhappy with the large size of your breasts, breast reduction is a safe, effective way to reduce your breasts to the size that you want.  I would recommend, however, that you wait until they have stopped growing before undergoing the procedure, unless they are interfering with your activities, causing pain, or affecting your psychological state of well-being.

Gary Breslow has 5 Breast reduction before & afters:

Breast reduction before image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowBreast reduction before image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowBreast reduction before image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowBreast reduction before image performed by Dr. Gary D. BreslowBreast reduction after image performed by Dr. Gary D. Breslow

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