The Right Bra for Breasts of Different Sizes?

Pubescent girls, large numbers of adult women, and breast cancer survivors struggle to find properly fitting bras that are comfortable and resolve the uneven appearance of their breasts. Breast cancer care teams acknowledge this struggle affects the post-operative recovery and outlook of their patients.

Key takeaways:
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    Breast asymmetry is experienced by 25% of adult women.
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    Breast cancer survivors have special bra requirements in addition to asymmetry.
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    Breast cancer survivors are making bras for women with asymmetrical breasts.
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    Bras with inserts can be used by teenage girls to create symmetry as their breasts develop.

Approximately 25% of adult women have different-sized breasts, which is called breast asymmetry. As long as no disease is present, breast asymmetry is considered to be normal. In fact, all women’s breasts are technically asymmetrical. One side of our body is rarely identical to the other.

Breast asymmetry during breast development

As a girl’s breasts develop, they may appear in different sizes. This difference in size often becomes less evident when the breasts have stopped growing. The larger breast tends to be on the same side as the dominant hand because those chest muscles are used more. This means that right-handed women usually have a larger right breast.

Teenagers are often anxious about their appearance as they go through puberty. Having breasts of different sizes can cause additional concern for young women. Reassuring girls that their breasts are still growing and, with time, may even out and become symmetrical may help to reduce their anxiety.

Breast surgeries that result in breast asymmetry

Women who have had surgery for breast cancer may have significant differences is breast size. A lumpectomy can result in a slightly smaller breast. And women who have had a mastectomy are missing at least one breast. If they had a double mastectomy both breasts have been removed.

Bras for asymmetrical breasts

One thing that can help girls and women with uneven breasts to appear symmetrical is finding a bra that makes the breasts look even. Breast asymmetry is fairly common, with about 1/4 of women having breasts of different sizes. Add to that number the number of women who have had breast cancer surgery and have specific needs when it comes to bras. The CDC states that in January 2019 there were 1,093,984 breast cancer survivors in the US.

An article from 2021 described the lack of bras suitable for women with uneven breasts and especially those who have had breast cancer surgery. Fortunately, today some bra manufacturers make products that help make your breasts look even.

There are several bra companies that were started by breast cancer survivors who were frustrated by the lack of bras that took into account the special needs of women after breast cancer surgery. Some of these bras are designed for immediately after surgery and are often recommended by name by surgeons.

Bras designed for later recovery are made of soft fabric, feature a front closure, and avoid wires and seams that can irritate the healing areas. These bras have pockets to hold the prosthesis that takes the place of the missing breast. These prostheses are often called breast forms and are made of materials that resemble the appearance and movement of a real breast under clothing. There are also special swimming breast forms that will not absorb water.

Women and girls who don’t need a full breast form can get bras with inserts. Purchasing a bra that fits your larger breast is recommended. Then the insert can be placed under your smaller breast to give the appearance of symmetry under clothing. Girls with uneven breasts can simply stop using the insert as the breasts even out.

Some companies make sports bras that are designed to keep the breast form or insert in place during activity.

To keep bra straps from slipping off there is an adhesive that can be used on the shoulders and it washes off with water.

There are surgical and non-surgical causes of asymmetrical breasts, and finding a properly fitting bra is certainly a challenge for the large number of women who have special bra requirements. Although you could hire someone to make the perfect bra for you, such a cost is extremely expensive. Over the last few years, women who are breast cancer survivors have been creating beautiful bras that help lift their spirits as well as make breasts appear symmetrical under clothing.


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