A Review of Alternative Breast Enlargement Products
In America, everyone’s all about big breasts. You can see them everywhere – from TV, and websites to even neighborhood billboards. It’s all about boobs, boobs and more boobs. If you think the media can’t be trusted, the latest cosmetic surgery statistics say that nearly 300,000 women in 2014 had breast surgeries.
But this is not the fault of the media only. It’s enough for a woman to go back to her middle school years and recall that big breasts were even back then inevitable. It was important back then as it is now. Even the nice kids payed attention and exchanged smiles. Then there’s that second-rate feeling, despite all your family and friends telling you it doesn’t matter.
A famous filmmaker Nora Ephron once said, “I cannot shake it, cannot shake my feelings of inadequacy.” This of course does not make an argument, but suggesting the number of products is completely different.
This will be the general review of the nonsurgical breast products available today. They can be divided in 3 basic categories:
- Nutritional and other natural products
- Suction cups and other devices
- Fat grafting
Nutritional and Other Natural Products
According to The Natural Products Association (NPA), around 50,000 nutritional supplements are available on the market today. These include several breast enlarging products.
According to Dr. Tod Cooperman, the president of ConsumerLab, selling a supplement is very easy. The Food Administration takes actions against misbranded products, but they don’t approve each supplement individually. So, the product is approved if it contains only dietary ingredients, and if all ingredients are listed correctly.
According to ConsumerLab, there are four categories of breast enhancing products, based on herbs they contain:
- phytoestrogens, with soy, red clover, flaxseed, fennel, hops, and other herbs;
- damiana and oat straw, and other aphrodisiacs;
- generic ‘women’s herbs’ including motherwort, blessed thistle, black cohosh, and chaste berry;
- Miscellaneous herbs, including palmetto and wild Mexican yam.
Further, Cooperman explains that most of these supplements are supported by tangential science only, and among all of these ingredients, phytoestrogens are most convincing. This is a natural-based product, which works like estrogen.
Estrogen is known as a hormone to increase breast size. This might sound as a perfect solution, but the thing is, it may block a natural estrogen in a woman, and natural estrogen is of course more powerful.
He also stated that this way, these supplements might have completely opposite effect – suppress growth in pre-menopausal women.
Science supports his position. The Mayo Clinic had a recent study which says there is no evidence of phytoestrogen increasing breast size or density.
In another study of herbal ingredients a doctor from George University, A. Fugh-Berman, concluded that these products should be discouraged, as there is no evidence for their efficacy and long-term safety concerns.
Canadian researchers conducted a study of 44 herbal products from 12 different companies. They found out that not only they don’t work, but they contain more than half unlisted ingredients. This can cause allergies in some women. Even worse, they can be very dangerous for women who take blood-thinning medications, for example warfarin.
The next category is natural creams, lotions and gels. Perhaps, these options are the most suitable choice to enlarge breasts without surgery. Click here to read the top 3 best breast enhancement creams on the market today which may help you to have bigger, fuller and perkier breasts.
Suction Cups and Other Devices
The best known enlarging device is “Brava Bra”. The company describes it as a system which ‘’consists of two semi-rigid domes, with specially engineered silicone gel rims, and a sophisticated minicomputer, called a SmartBox, that creates and regulates the tension within the domes. A sports bra is also included, to hold the domes and the SmartBox in place.”
This is basically a bra-like device. It is a suction cup that “applies a 20-mmHg vacuum distraction force to each breast for 10 to 12 hours/day over a 10-week period.” This continuous pressure causes the breast tissue to gradually, slowly expand over time.
Brava system may sound reasonable, but it has only limited support from the science. A study from 2007 involved 50 women, and 30 out of 50 were satisfied with the results. The authors noted that you need an external tissue expander for long-term breast enlargement, and this is often quoted on the Brava website.
There was another study, in which 17 women stated that the daily use of Brava system is effective and well-tolerated. However, one of the authors is the inventor of Brava system himself.
There is a website for Q/A regarding beauty – ReaSelf.com. The reports on this site are more skeptical. Some doctors say that the results are insignificant, and the others that they get worse over time.
But on the other side, there are no health risks like with the other supplements, except some skin chafing and sleepless nights. This might be worth a try if you have money to waste, lots of time and lots of patience, but you shouldn’t expect much.
And the last category is fat grafting. This procedure is also known as autologous fat transfer. Fat grafting is liposuction and injection of that fat into the breast area. This looks like a dream come true for every woman, since they remove fat from where it shouldn’t be and insert it into boobs. Both plastic and reconstructive surgery has adopted this procedure.
The authors of a Loma Linda University Medical center published a study earlier this year, in which they stated that fat is a material easily harvested and processed, and you can inject it in controlled amounts. What’s more important is the fact that this feels soft and natural.
There are, however, some challenges and concerns.
One of them is that the recovery period lasts up to 2 weeks or even more.
The second concern is safety. BreastCancerOrg states that despite it looks like a safe procedure, without major surgery, some doctors claim this could raise the risk of breast cancer. They haven’t conducted actual studies; the research has been tracking less than 100 women for about 4 years.
The next is aesthetic result – it is difficult to predict it. Loma Linda researchers stated that predictable results are still a challenge, as 40-60% of the fat can be lost because of the tissue death, or the body can resorb it.
What’s interesting is that some doctors combine the Brava system with fat grafting for optimal results. One study involved 12 women, and it was discovered that the results of fat grafting were better with pre-expansion of the breast tissue.
To conclude, all these options are available and expensive. Some of them are risky, and none of them are completely supported and recommended by science. If you however still feel the need to change something about yourself, do some research and proceed with caution.