Ever feel like your breasts have a mind of their own? Hold on to your bra straps-we uncover what's normal and what's not.
"It's obvious through my clothes that my breasts are two different sizes."
No one has a perfectly matching pair, but a small number of women develop visibly unbalanced breasts, says ob-gyn Christiane Northrup, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. Correct it by buying bras that fit the larger boob, then insert a foam or silicone-gel pad into the smaller cup. A more permanent solution (and one that comes with a $4,000 to $5,000 price tag and possible scarring) is plastic surgery. "You can get the larger breast reduced, put an implant in the smaller one, or do a combo of the two," says surgeon Andrew Da Lio, associate professor of plastic surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Find out how to get sexy cleavage without going under the knife.
"Sometimes my chest gets incredibly itchy, and I have to scratch - even in public."
First, slather your set with body lotion after you shower. This will keep your skin moisturized, which reduces dryness-induced itching. Next, look for moisture-wicking fabric and breathable microfibers, which are less irritating. Itching plus redness can be a sign of a skin allergy. If you notice this, ease the discomfort with a cortisone cream, and then switch detergent and soap brands to see if that makes a difference. Should you detect a patch of red, scaly skin, you may have a skin yeast infection. Apply an OTC antifungal cream to kill the yeast. But if a scaly sore appears on your nipple and doesn't heal, visit your MD. It can indicate a very rare form of breast cancer. Get answers to more embarrassing questions!
"My boobs are really saggy and squishy."
With so many chicks sporting gravity-defying bras and up-to-their-chin implants, it's easy to forget that breasts are supposed to sag and feel squishy. But if yours are especially floppy, it probably means that you have a lot more fat in your breasts than glandular tissue, which helps maintain firmness. Another cause: The ligaments that support your set may have become stretched out…kind of like old underwear. Other droop-inducers include breast-feeding and weight loss. And jogging without proper support also may result in sag (not to mention a lot of pain). Since sag is normal, not much can stave it off. Wearing a bra made with adjustable straps and (if you're at least a B cup) underwire will take excess weight off the ligaments. When you work out, put on a sports bra with molded cups to prevent bounce, says Susan Nethero, author of Bra Talk and founder of Intimacy lingerie stores. A better solution: Focus not on how saggy your breasts look but how sexy they make you feel. Wear ultrahot push-up bras, and in bed, enjoy sex positions that let your man stimulate your twins but don't leave them so visually exposed, such as doggie-style or spooning.
All boobs are a bit lumpy. It's more pronounced during your preperiod week, especially if you have fibrocystic breast disease, a condition triggered by hormone changes that causes your breasts to swell, get tender, and ache, says Miriam Greene, MD, clinical assistant professor of ob-gyn at NYU School of Medicine. Caffeine makes you retain fluid, so cutting back before your period may help reduce swelling. Watch your salt intake too: Sodium makes you hold in water. But if you detect a lump in a fixed spot that doesn't change with your cycle, see your gyno. It's rare, but it may signal breast cancer. Don't fear the worst when one of these symptoms appears, but do pay attention.
" I hate being topless with my guy - I have stretch marks."
Stretch marks are thin red or whitish streaks that often appear when the skin on your twins has been stretched by a growth spurt, such as during puberty and pregnancy or after gaining weight. Most women get them, but how many you develop depends on your skin's elasticity and genetics. The bad news: They never go away, though studies say using a Retin-A cream daily for a few months will help reduce the redness of new marks. Read more tips to play down stretch marks. Luckily, over the years, they will fade closer to your normal pigment. Don't get too worked up about your guy noticing them. Men aren't exactly known for being detail-oriented. When you take off your top, his eyes most likely widen at the big-picture sight of your rack…not the pencil-thin lines etched on the skin.