For many women, wearing a bra is an obligation, not a preference. The fact that the first thing most women do immediately after getting home is taking off the bra is a testament to that.
Wearing a bra is an unspoken demand society makes on women in the name of public decency and one that many women acquiesce to because of the discomfort that comes with not wearing one altogether.
Choosing a well-fitting bra is not obvious and women can end up wearing ill-fitting bras. One study found that 70% of women wear bras that are not suitable for their bust.
Signs your bra is too tight
- Your skin is irritated or chafing.
- You’re constantly adjusting it or it shifts with your movements.
- You’ve developed acid reflux or it has gotten worse.
- You’re spilling out of your cups.
- Your upper body hurts.
Effects of tight bras
This is one of the first indicators that there is a problem. A tight bra will dig into your skin and make you feel uncomfortable throughout the day.
2. Sore neck
A tight bra puts extra strain on your muscles leading to regular aches and pains in affected areas where there was no pain before. If you find that your neck is aching all the time, your bra could be the culprit. The pain can also be felt in the shoulders and back.
3. Breast tenderness and chafing
Breast tenderness can be attributed to a number of reasons, one of them being a tight bra. A tight bra can put undue pressure on your breast area leading to tissue damage. There’s also likely to be chafing which one can ignore in the beginning but it only gets worse with time and use. A tight bra can even result in actual breast pain.
4. Restricts lymph flow
This is the major reason why tight bras hamper breast health, they restrict the lymph flow in your breasts. The normal function of the lymph fluid is to wash out toxins and other waste materials from the breasts which tight bras interfere with, impairing the flow and potentially causing toxins to build up in the breast. This buildup of toxins can lead to cancer.
5. Causes lack of oxygen supply
An ill-fitting bra puts stress on your bones and muscles causing breathing problems. Wearing a tight bra especially one with an underwire can cause a medical condition known as anoxia. This is when a part of your body does not have enough oxygen. Anoxia can damage or scar the lung tissue which has been linked to increased cancer risk.
Tight bras can cause heartburn especially when they are underwire. Anything that’s too tight whether bra, compression tights or belt will put undue pressure on the stomach encouraging the upward flow of stomach acid. If the symptoms increase, check to see if your bra is too tight.
7. Skin damage
A tight bra leads to skin damage in the form of redness, rashes, scratch marks and stretch marks around the affected areas. As a general rule, your bra should not mark your skin in any way.
A bra that was initially a good fit can become tight or ill-fitting for a variety of reasons. Hormonal fluctuations, weight fluctuations, age and pregnancy can change a person’s bra size.
It’s advisable that you have a handful of sizes that fit you and wear them as appropriate. Take your time when shopping and select something that is comfortable. The health implications not to mention persistent discomfort demand you make the right choice.