Here, we break down normal changes you can expect, and which changes should be discussed with your doctor.
Over time, it's natural for your breasts to lose their firmness, change shape, shrink in size and become more prone to certain abnormal lumps.
Firmness. As estrogen levels change, the breast’s connective tissue shrinks and loses shape. This can lead to a saggy or fatty consistency.
Shape. From around the age of 40, you can expect your breasts to change in size and shape. They may also change after childbirth.
Lumps. In most cases, breast lumps are harmless, but whatever your age, it's important that you report any new lumps to your doctor.
Appearance. The area around the nipple (the areola) tends to become smaller and may nearly disappear.
Hormones. Many of the breast changes that happen as you get older are caused by hormonal changes. On the plus side, you may stop having any of the premenstrual lumps, pain or nipple discharge that you used to have.
As the years go by, you might also notice a wider space between your breasts.
Performing regular breast self-exams can help you learn how your breasts normally feel and make it easier to notice and find any changes. Breast self-exams should not be considered a substitute for regular screening mammograms.