Why Is My Bra Hurting Me?

Thursday, June 20, 2024


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Many women experience bra discomfort. Some of us even assume that it’s normal. However, your bra ideally shouldn’t be uncomfortable to wear - and it most certainly shouldn’t be causing you pain.

Ignoring bra pain could lead to all kinds of serious health problems from back pain to breast damage. This is why it’s important to find the root cause. In many cases, it’s no surprise as to what the cause is - you’re not wearing the right size bra! Of course, it’s important to know if the cups or the band is the problem. This post delves more into some of the precise causes.

The cup size is too large

Choosing too large a cup size is a common bra buying blunder. If the cups are too big, your breasts will move around. This can cause chafing and irritation. To determine whether your cups are too big, look down at your bra and see whether there is a visible gap. If there is a gap, your cups are likely too large. Downsizing your bra could eliminate any pain by preventing movement.

The cup size is too small

While you want your bra to be snug, you don’t want it to be too snug. If the cups are too small, the lining and the wiring could start to dig into your skin. This can be worse for your breasts than going too large. How do I know if the cups are too small? Besides experiencing pain, you’ll usually be able to tell because your breasts will bulge over the top. There may also be a gap in the middle caused by your breasts pushing the cups away from your body. Sizing up will eliminate the pain.

The band is too loose

A lot of us pay attention to the cups, but overlook the band size. This is the circumference around your ribcage and it can affect how tight or loose your bra is. A common problem is a bra band that’s too loose. This can result in your bra failing to offer enough support - your breasts may end up weighing down your bra, which can lead to your straps doing all the work. On top of increasing the risk of your bra slipping, a loose band can often cause shoulder pain and back pain. You should be able to slide a finger beneath the band, but not two fingers - this is a sign it is too loose. This guide on how to size a bra explains more.

The bra is damaged

Bras can become damaged over time as a result of washing them regularly, storing them incorrectly or simply wearing the same bra frequently. They can lose their elasticity, which could cause the band to become loose. Wiring and threading can also come loose and cause irritation. A regularly worn bra will typically need to be replaced after nine months. If you’ve got a large selection of bras and regularly rotate them, then you may not need to replace them for a couple years. Just make sure you’re not clinging onto the same bra for years on end - not only will it deteriorate, but your breasts may change in size and shape within that time.

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