It’s no surprise that pills, creams, and other purportedly “all-natural” breast-enlarging solutions are as widespread as they are. It’s tempting to believe that they work—many women are uncomfortable with the idea of committing to the expense, and the surgical aspect, of a breast augmentation procedure, and they want to think that these herbal remedies and other inventions are viable alternatives. Unfortunately for the women who are lured into buying pills and creams by promises of a fix that’s quick, easy, and cheaper than implant surgery, there’s no evidence that any of them work. No clinical trials have been published to substantiate the claims of these herbal products’ manufacturers, either in terms of their efficacy or of their safety; and although some of the ingredients used in herbal products contain estrogenic compounds, there isn’t any evidence to suggest that they are strong enough to increase a woman’s breast size. Additionally, because breast-enhancing vitamins fall into the “dietary supplement” rather than “drug” category, they are not regulated by the FDA—manufacturers have to list all ingredients on the label, but they are not tested or investigated unless reports are made asserting “serious adverse events” associated with their use. This means that the manufacturers’ accountability is limited, and that long-term effects of taking the vitamins is not established before they are put on store shelves.
The only non-surgical option that has been proven to have any sort of success in enlarging the breasts is the Brava Breast Enhancing and Shaping System, an external vacuum bra. Using the Brava system, a woman wears semi-rigid domes over her breasts for 10 or more hours each day, for a period of 10 to 14 consecutive weeks. A small pump sucks the air out of the domes and creates a vacuum that pulls at the breast tissue; this tension causes the cells of the tissue to replicate, and the breasts to grow.
Touted as costing from 1/3 to 1/6 the price of breast augmentation surgery, you would think that the Brava system would be fast replacing implants as the preferred method of enhancing breast size. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Users complain that because the pump emits noise, and because of the structure of the domes, the bra can’t be worn under clothing during regular daily activities; it essentially has to be worn in the privacy of your home, which makes wearing it for more than 10 hours every day extraordinarily inconvenient, not to mention impractical, for many women. Also, while the bra can increase size, it does not control shape—there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the exact results you want. Patients have told me that it’s difficult to wear; that the domes sometimes irritate the skin; and that they have had an allergic reaction to the material. I have had more than one patient come to me wanting breast implants six month after trying—and not liking—the Brava system.
From vitamins to vacuum bras, the “cures” to small breasts that are on the market today are riddled with problems, and raise too many questions to make them good options for women seeking to increase their bust size. Safe, effective, and practical non-surgical methods of breast enhancement may be somewhere on the horizon . . . but they don’t exist yet. With that in mind, if enlarging your breasts is something you wish to do, you should seriously consider breast augmentation surgery.
1. Fugh-Berman, Adriane, MD. “Bust Enhancing” Herbal Products. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 101.6 (2003). 2. “The Science Behind Brava,” MyBrava.com: http://www.mybrava.com/the-science-behind-brava.asp. 3. “Breast Health and Options,” MyBrava.com: http://www.mybrava.com/breast-health-and-options.asp. 4. “Next Wave of Breast Implants,” WebMD.com: http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/news/20010510/next-wave-of-breast-implants