There’s been a lot of buzz in the press recently about a new study from France that says bras are bad for our health. Women are naturally concerned. Big Girls Bras wants to set the record straight.
What the study says: In April Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon announced the results of a study he conducted over a 15-year period with 130 or 330 women (reports vary) between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. He concluded that there is no benefit to our breasts from constantly wearing a bra and suggested that wearing a bra may inhibit our bodies’ ability to resist breast sagging.
What we don’t know about the study: With news reports just giving a brief overview of the findings, the study details we’d evaluate to measure the validity of the study aren’t available to us. Normally we’d ask if the women studied were representative of the overall population on factors like their weight at the beginning and end of the study, breast size, diet and exercise habits, and pregnancies and breastfeeding during the study. Any of these factors could affect the results. Without the details of the study design, we just don’t know.
What we do know about bras:
- Wearing a properly fitted bra has never been proven to be harmful. In fact women with moderate to large breasts and women of a certain age need a bra to support the weight of their breast tissue.
- Wearing a properly fitted bra can delay the effects time and gravity have on the ligaments that hold our breasts up. Once these ligaments have stretched out only surgery can return them to their previous shape and function.
- Breasts consist of fatty tissue and ligaments, not muscle. There is no exercise or technique that can make breasts firmer or the ligaments tighter.
- Not wearing a bra during strenuous activity may result in injury to breast ligaments.
- Wearing an ill-fitting bra can be uncomfortable and a poorly fitting bra could, in extreme circumstances, do some long term damage to your breasts.
The Bottom Line: The headlines exaggerated the study findings and implications. Even Professor Rouillon doesn’t recommend we all stop wearing bras saying that the study involved a small number of women and he hasn’t studied the long term effects of not wearing a bra.
What this means for you: While younger women and women with smaller breasts can get by without wearing a bra daily, the rest of us need and want the support of a good bra that fits us properly.
If you’re looking for a bra that provides good support without looking like something an octogenarian would wear, we suggest the Elomi Caitlyn Underwire Side Support Bra 8030, the Chantelle Cachemire Three Part Cup Bra 3371 and the Conturelle Provence Underwire Bra 80505.
Big Girls Bras provides multiple resources to get you the information you need to find the best bra for you. We’ve recently revamped our Bra Fit Guide to give you the information you need; more new sections are on the way. Our blog is a treasure chest of information on bra fit, styles and fashion advice; the search feature allows you to easily find the information you’re looking for. We’re available on Facebook and other social media to answer your questions. And our friendly Customer Service department is ready to help at 800 352-4494. If you’re concerned about bras and how they affect breast health contact us, we’ll answer your questions and get you the information you need to make the best choices for you.