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Thursday 5 May 2011

What's Best for Your Breasts?

Men can't stop obsessing over them, but chances are, you spend little time making your breasts the center of attention. So dive into this guide to everything you need to know about your sexy twin set.

1. Fluid is leaking from my nipples, and I'm not pregnant. What gives?
It's not unusual for weird-looking stuff to drip from the nipples, says Dayna Salasche, M.D., an ob-gyn in Chicago. It can come in many colors—yellow, green, white, gray, red—and vary from thick and sticky to thin and watery. Non-pregnancy-related discharge can occur either spontaneously or from stimulation (e.g., squeezing or sucking) and is most often the result of a benign papilloma (a noncancerous tumor), an infection, or a drug side effect. In rare cases, leakage can signal a hormonal imbalance or even breast cancer, so if you're not knocked up, consult your doc.

2. Is it possible to breast-feed after having an augmentation?
Usually. Most breast implants don't interfere with feeding, says Todd Malan, M.D., director of the Innovative Cosmetic Surgery Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, 20 percent of implants need to be readjusted surgically within the first year, and about 30 percent rupture after a decade. So while the original procedure might not affect feeding, the more surgeries you have, the more ligament damage is done and the more your breasts will sag. If you decide to lift that droopiness with even more surgery, your milk ducts might get damaged, which would interfere with nursing. Long story short: Be sure your surgeon gives you all the details.

3. Can I boost my girls with exercise?
Breasts don't have muscles, so quit trying to tone them. But you may be able to perk things up by tightening and defining the muscles around your breasts, says Jonathan Ross, a personal trainer in Bowie, Maryland. Try the following exercises (two sets of eight reps every day).

Backward-facing wall slide
Stand with your heels, butt, shoulder blades, and head pressed against a wall. Raise your arms out to the sides at shoulder height and bend your elbows 90 degrees so your fingers are pointing toward the ceiling. Slowly slide your arms up the wall, then lower them back to the starting position.

Front-facing wall slide with backward reach
Stand facing a wall with your feet hip-width apart and your toes six inches from the wall. Press your forearms against the wall, shoulder-width apart, fingers pointing up. Slide your palms up the wall until your arms are straight, then lift your arms away from the wall until your elbows are next to your ears; pull your shoulder blades together. Bring your arms back to the wall, then lower to the starting position.

Bird dog
Get down on all fours with your hands and knees hip-width apart. Lift your right arm in front of you and extend your left leg behind you, keeping your hips and shoulders parallel to the floor and making sure the movements come only from your shoulder and hip, rather than your spine. Pause, then slowly lower to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite limbs.

4. Why do my boobs kill me right before and during my period?
Breast tissue is naturally tender—and it can take a real pounding from the hormonal seesaw of your menstrual cycle. During ovulation and its aftermath, estrogen and progesterone levels trade turns rising and falling, which can lead to headaches, mood changes, food cravings, cramps, and, yup, super-sore breasts. Sucking down lots of coffee or diet soda can make matters even worse, as excess caffeine can disrupt levels of reproductive and stress hormones and leave your ta-tas swollen and achy. To reduce the pain, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., an ob-gyn at the Yale University School of Medicine, recommends taking this mix of nutrients daily during your period to reduce water retention and inflammation: 100 to 200 milligrams of vitamin B6, 200 to 400 IU of vitamin E, and two 500 IU capsules of evening primrose oil.
5. Do some women really have a third nipple?
Are you sitting down? Good. Here's the truth: Some women (and men) have up to six nipples.

"When a fetus is forming, it develops something called a milk line that's studded with nipples and runs from the armpits to the groin," says Michael Yang, M.D., an ob-gyn in Sunnyvale, Texas.

"It looks like what dogs and cats have, but in humans it usually disappears before birth." Except when it doesn't. Sometimes supernumerary nipples come with extra tissue and develop like regular breasts; typically, though, they just sit on your skin—sans areolae—and look more like moles or skin tags than budding boobs. Not loving your extra teats? They can easily be removed with minor surgery.
6. Is it harder to detect breast cancer if you have implants?
Yes. Implants can get in the way during exams, potentially hiding small tumors. They can also make it more difficult for medical professionals to take and read mammograms, says Malan.
7. I want to lose weight, but not from my breasts. Any chance?
In an ideal world, sure. In reality, nope. "Breasts are made up of mostly fat, and because losing weight is about losing fat, well... it's sad but true that breast volume is often the first to shrink as you slim down," says Salasche. But before you decide to ride the couch instead of a bike, know this: The body gains and loses fat systemically, so your overall proportions will probably stay the same and it's likely that no one will notice a difference.
Article By Amy Beal and Paige Greenfield, Women's Health

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