A 15-year study has revealed that bras provide no benefit at all to the breast but rather makes them sag and does little to alleviate back pain.
According to the study, women who wear bras have saggier breasts than women who don’t. The French study follows findings from British researchers that suggest bras might pose cancer risks.
Cardiff University Prof. Robert Mansel and Simon Cawthorn, from Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, asked 100 women to ban their bras for three months and then return to wearing one for another three months.
On average, the women were pain free more (about seven percent more) without a bra.
Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, from the University of Besancon, who led the 15-year study into women’s breasts said, “Medically, physiologically, anatomically, breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra”.
The lengthy study involved 330 women aged 18-35, whose breasts were measured at regular intervals with a slide rule and caliper.
The study found that women who went braless had better muscle tone and higher lift than those who wore bras.
Those who didn’t wear bras saw a nipple lift of about 7 mm a year towards the shoulder. Their breasts also became firmer, and stretch marks faded.
The research is still preliminary, Rouillon said, adding that he doesn’t advise all women to stop wearing bras, at least not yet.
One of the women who participated said, “ I breathe more easily. I carry myself better and I have less back pain.”
The doctors say there might be a correlation between breast pain and developing breast cancer, although they didn’t connect bras and cancer directly.