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When Do Boobs Stop Growing? – Factors Affecting Breast Development

’When do boobs stop growing?’, is a question that you are guilty of asking yourself, at least once in your life! It definitely is a prime concern for all girls, perhaps from the moment you first start developing breasts.

Breast development is an important aspect of a girl’s growth and development. Your breasts undergo a lot of changes during your lifetime. You may notice a change in your boob size at various points in your life. And with these changes, stem a series of questions.

Well, look no further, as we help you get a better understanding of your body and feminine health.

Also Read: Why am I Having Sore Breasts After Ovulation?

Till What Age Do Breasts Grow?

Breasts are dynamic organs. That is, they undergo changes throughout your lifetime, starting from puberty, to pregnancy, then the involution phase in the postpartum period to perimenopause and menopause. These changes correspond to changes in hormone levels.

Breasts first start growing during puberty (discussed below). With the start of breast development figured out, you may wonder, “When do boobs stop growing?’’. Boobs normally complete their primary growth within 1-2 years from when you have your first period.

From then on, breasts undergo changes in size, shape, and even contour till up to 18 years of age.  But this is not a fixed age. In some girls, changes in breast size and shape may even continue in their twenties or thirties.

Also Read: Breast Soreness and Menstrual Cycle – Are These Interlinked?

What Is Puberty?

You may have come across this word many times. But what is puberty?

Puberty is the period of transitioning from childhood into adulthood. It is that stage in your life when you become mature sexually.  The body produces more of certain hormones that bring about physical, mental, behavioral, and sexual changes.

Puberty in girls mostly occurs around 10-14 years of age, whereas in boys it hits around 12-16 years. Puberty affects girls and boys differently.

The first sign of puberty in girls is thelarche, which is breast development. So how do your boobs develop? Breasts first appear as small bumps under the nipple, known as breast buds. As the growth spurt of puberty continues, breasts which are made of fibrous and fatty tissue, also undergo changes. With both nipples and breast tissue undergoing the transformation.

This whole process is completed in a series of around 5 stages. And voila, at the end of stage 5, breast development is completed.

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What Triggers Boobs to Grow?

“When do boobs stop growing?”. That we figured out was by around 18 years of age. So, with that settled, you may wonder, “What triggers boobs to grow in the first place?”

Breasts are, as termed medically, one of the secondary sexual characteristics in the development of a girl. At the start of puberty, there is an increase in the level of certain hormones, including sex hormones.

These hormones are responsible for mammary growth. But there is an interplay of various other factors. These include genetics, diet and nourishment, as well as exercise, in addition to mental and behavioral factors, and the presence of an underlying medical disorder.

These factors work differently in different individuals. Hence the different bust size and shape.

Also Read: Why is it Healthy to Become Pregnant Before 30?

Does Pregnancy Affect Boobs?

Breast development first begins when the fetus develops milk ducts and nipples. From then onwards, breasts further develop and enlarge during puberty, as we saw previously. And their initial primary growth is completed as puberty ends.

But you would be wondering, “Does pregnancy affect the boobs?” And yes, it does. Breasts are considered to be truly mature and completed development once you become pregnant and produce breast milk.

Following menopause, lack of certain hormones, mainly estrogen (the female sex hormone) causes the breakdown of connective tissue. Hence your boobs sag down and lose shape.

Also Read: Is It Safe To Breastfeed With a Cold?

Changes to Look Out For!

As we saw previously, breasts are dynamic structures. That is, they are ever undergoing changes in size and shape. Let’s briefly take a look at a few of such variations, and those that need a prompt visit to your doctor.

Bigger the Better?

As we saw above, your boobs are liable to changes during your lifetime. You may notice one boob slightly bigger than the other. While this may give you a mini panic attack, you will be surprised to know that this is perfectly normal.

Pregnancy, changes in hormone levels, as well as postural changes are responsible for this asymmetrical size.

“When do boobs stop growing?” Around 18 to 20 years of age. But breasts are mostly made of fat. So, any changes in weight, that is weight gain or loss, affect your boobs in the same way.

However, beware of any sudden change in your bust size. Specifically, a localized increase in the size of your mammary glands. As that may be an early sign of breast cancer.

Color Changes

This may sound weird, but the area around the nipples known as areola changes color. This color change normally occurs in pregnancy. With the areolae becoming darker than usual.

But this is nothing to freak out about. It’s a normal happening. It may become normal once your pregnancy ends, but this is not necessary. A similar darkening of areolae also occurs as you age.

With the normal figured out, you may want to keep an eye out for any unusual color changes. As they are mostly predictors of breast pathology.

Also Read: Masturbation During Pregnancy – Myths and Facts

Nipple Changes

Nipples are no exception to changes! They may protrude and enlarge slightly in pregnancy. But you mostly need to keep an eye on your perky nipples.

An inverted or a sunken nipple, a nipple with ulceration or surrounding growth, or discharge are all alarm signs. And you may need to see your doctor sooner than you wish!

Also Read: Orgasm During Pregnancy – Myths and Facts

Boobs or No Boobs, What’s the Takeaway?

As we come to conclude this boob talk, I’m sure you have an understanding of how breasts develop. And the notorious changes you need to keep an eye out for. Regular self-examination is necessary to make sure these problems are at bay.

As for when do boobs stop growing, this boob concern has been successfully taken care of!

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

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