I just went up three bra sizes... why?
February 18, 2014 5:03 PM   Subscribe

I've been 32B for the last 20 years. Now, in my late thirties, I'm suddenly a 32DD. What happened?

My breasts have been popping out of my old bras, so I went to get re-fitted. I found out that I'm three cup sizes larger than I've been since time immemorial. (I now require a 32DD bra in the *same brand and model* of bra that I used to wear in a 32B).

The change happened sometime over the last six months. I've gained perhaps five pounds in that time. FWIW, I had a hysterectomy three months ago, though I kept my ovaries and don't have any signs of menopause. I have never been pregnant. Both breasts have grown pretty equally in size though the one on my dominant arm's side is a tad bigger. And they're not tender and sore in a PMS-bloating kind of way, it's more of a permanent-feeling thing.

What could have caused this? Will it go away? I'm not excited about the prospect of having to buy a new wardrobe of blouses and tops (and expensive DD bras).
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
IANAD, and this Wikipedia article (NSFW photo) needs to be marked "citation needed," but it says: "large breasts can also develop postpartum, after gaining weight, at menopause, and at any age." That any age part seems to be the kicker.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 5:17 PM on February 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you changed the type of food you eat in recent months?

After going ultra-low carb, I gained two cup sizes -- while the rest of my body got lean, my boobs plumped up. I've read reports from other women in the low-carb community seeing the same effect.
posted by nacho fries at 5:25 PM on February 18, 2014 [6 favorites]

I plateaued at a B for years, and then popped up to a C for a few more years after going on the pill. But over the course of the last year and a half, they've ballooned steadily upwards with no apparent cause and I'm currently a 34G. I'm hoping things have stopped because because this shit is ridiculous, but I'm not optimistic.

My advice to you would be to go to Target and get a couple inexpensive DDs that fit and hold off on major bra and wardrobe purchases for a few months just to make sure your girls have settled. Don't be me. Don't go and spend $100+ on bras that you might immediately grow out of.

In conclusion, boobs are a land of many contrasts.
posted by phunniemee at 5:27 PM on February 18, 2014 [18 favorites]

You said you gained five pounds. Have you been that weight before?

I'm in my forties, but not yet pre-menopausal. I find there is a magic weight at which almost any weight gain or loss seems to be in my boobs. Five pounds can be 2-3 cup sizes easily.
posted by TORunner at 5:32 PM on February 18, 2014

Yup, it's just standard weight gain. As all of us can attest, when we gain weight it always seems to go somewhere unique, like our hips or butt or stomach. I went from a 36B to a 40D in my late 20s, and they've stayed that way.
posted by Melismata at 5:35 PM on February 18, 2014

I can't help with the why, but I had this happen to me (same sizes and everything) and have had good luck picking up bras at Nordstrom Rack. They have a pretty decent selection of 32DD bras, and even the fancy European brands are often around $30. Not cheap, but better than what I've been able to find online.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 5:38 PM on February 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

I agree with poster above, I went through a weight loss and re-gain last year and a 5 lb window made the difference for me between not needing to wear a bra and at all and going back to wearing a D cup. It was really weird and surprising because I remember trying on one of my old bras at the time and thinking it looked huge, then finding that it fit well about two weeks later.
posted by telegraph at 5:52 PM on February 18, 2014

Isn't getting older AWESOME? ugh. It seems like my weight gains/losses occur in vastly different parts of my body in my 30s than when I was younger. It sounds like yours went straight to your boobs, and you might have even gained even a bit more but just lost it somewhere else on the body.

I've heard from ladies at bra stores that you should get re-measured every couple of years because breast size can constantly change. So that's awesome. Basically I don't expect to be able to wear any bra I own for more than 2 years due to change in size (ahem, and also because I refuse to hand wash them- it just doesn't feel as clean).
posted by joan_holloway at 6:00 PM on February 18, 2014

Yeah, it's probably the weight change. I had the opposite happen: I lost 80 pounds, and my cup size stayed the same (band size changed, but cups were the same). Boobs, like cats, are weird.
posted by clone boulevard at 6:20 PM on February 18, 2014 [7 favorites]

Do you eat Greek yogurt? The year I ate a cup of Greek yogurt every morning for breakfast, I went up two cup sizes.
posted by limeonaire at 6:38 PM on February 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Breast size varies with a lot of different factors (weight gain/loss, water retention, pregnancy, lactation, birth control blah blah blah). It's impossible to say definitively which one or (more likely) combination of these factors is/are contributing to your recent increase, but my guess would be weight gain + post hysterectomy hormonal changes.
posted by gumtree at 6:47 PM on February 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Could be a weight gain, but another thought - have things started....sagging? I've noticed this of myself, that my own boobs are much fuller on the bottom half than they are on the top, due to a general not-so-perkiness going on. If they were firmer, the fullness would be more evenly distributed - and would make for less fullness overall. And since you measure a bra size based on how big things are at the breasts' fullest point, if you've got all the tissue down at the bottom rather than "spread out", that could affect the size differential.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:54 PM on February 18, 2014

Also, bra sizes vary a great deal depending on who measures you, who makes the bras, etc.. You might not have changed but the underwear has.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:55 PM on February 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Count me in with those over 40 who have lost double-digit pounds and several inches of band size, but cup size has remained the same. Fortunately Victoria's Secret has started making DD and DDD so I can get cheap bras until the size settles down.
posted by matildaben at 7:37 PM on February 18, 2014

Ditto what TORunner said. I am a 47-year-old lady and gained a few after stopping 10-plus-years of road bike racing. My breasts definitely got a bit bigger, as part of a general curve enhancement. I like it!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:45 PM on February 18, 2014

For me this always means my body fat percentage has increased. If you've recently had major surgery yours probably has too, as you recovered and rook it easy. My weight generally stays pretty stable too but I lose muscle and gain fat.
posted by fshgrl at 9:59 PM on February 18, 2014

Do you eat Greek yogurt? The year I ate a cup of Greek yogurt every morning for breakfast, I went up two cup sizes.
posted by limeonaire at 9:38 PM

"One weird trick" indeed!
posted by easement1 at 8:31 AM on February 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Do you eat Greek yogurt? The year I ate a cup of Greek yogurt every morning for breakfast, I went up two cup sizes.
posted by limeonaire at 9:38 PM

"One weird trick" indeed!

OK, yes, and but, I also added a cup size (to already cartoonishly large boobs) in my Year Of Fage. While otherwise losing about 25 lbs, from 135 to 110. It looked ridiculous, like the prow of a pirate ship. Damn you, Fage!!
posted by like_a_friend at 8:42 AM on February 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Was your B-cup bra professionally fitted somewhere during "time immemorial?" If not, there's a good chance that you should have been wearing a bigger size to begin with. Bra fitters say that an awful lot of women should be wearing a smaller band and bigger cup.

(I don't speak from personal experience here--I'm a DDD just from my own efforts and I'm terrified of what I'll find out if I get professionally fitted. I can still get a bra for about $40 if I do what I'm doing; any bigger than that will probably bump me up to $80 a pop, which I can't do.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:10 AM on February 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

It's probably a good idea to mention this to your doctor in case it's a sign of hormonal ... something.
posted by theora55 at 9:43 AM on February 19, 2014

For me, it was PCOS. Get it checked out, but it's probably something hormonal, either age/genetics-related or from the hysterectomy. After mine ballooned up, they never went back down, unfortunately.
posted by ravioli at 4:42 PM on February 19, 2014

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