( By Dr. Vithal Prabhu )

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Breast is not a sex organ but has a role in nutrition of the young ones and in the sexual stimulation. The female breast consists of fat, blood vessels and nerves surrounding the milk glands. These glands are situated in bunches like the bunches of grapes.

The milk produced therein passes through the small ducts which are connected to each other to form 15 to 20 “Lactiferous Tubes.” These ultimately open on the nipple of the breast. Before opening, each lactiferous tube gets dilated to form a “sinus” which acts as a reservoir of milk. These sinuses are situated behind the “areola”, a pink coloured circular patch of skin around the nipple.

The colour of the areola becomes dark after the pregnancy. The size of the breast varies from female to female.

Big breasts as well as small breasts are normal. There is no treatment for changing the size of the breast. Physical Exercises or hormones do not work. In fact it is not necessary to take any treatment. (The only remedy is to use a padded brassiere.) Though girls attribute their beauty to the size of breasts, the nature has a definite purpose in giving breasts to the female, and that is the nutrition of the newborn child. There is no relation between the size of the breasts and the production of the milk in them. Even the smallest breast can produce enough amount of milk for the child. Secondly, the size and shape of the breasts change according to the age.

Puberty, adolesence, pregnancy, lactation and menopause are the stages when the size and shape of the breast change. The size of the breast depends mainly upon the genetic factor and partly upon the state of the health and the diet of the person.

It is quite normal to have unequal breasts. Some girls get pain in the breasts just prior to menstruation. The breasts slightly swell up during the sexual stimulation. These events are normal.

The nipple and the areola are sensitive to sensuous stimuli. A woman may feel sensuous during the breast feeding of her child. This is quite normal and she need not feel embarrassed.

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