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Should I wear a bra all the time?

By August 29, 2008 - 2:20pm
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I know this sounds like a really odd question but when I was growing up, wearing a bra all the time (including in bed) was considered unhealthy. I'm not even sure why!

Now that I have breastfed several children and am a grown woman, I read that it's actually good for breast support and to keep breasts as, well, perky as possible!

I tend to be more comfortable with as much support as possible and tend to always wear a bra (cute ones!)unless I am in the shower -or fooling around but I won't realy go there :)

Is this ok? Why would it not be?

Add a Comment24 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

try the body by victorias secret

April 5, 2015 - 8:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

I usually don't wear a bra when i am sleeping or doing household chores. I feel more comfortable and relaxed this way, as well as, chances of me having breast cancer during old age are reduced.

August 12, 2009 - 11:08pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

The chances of having breast cancer are not affected in any way by whether or not you wear a bra.

January 17, 2011 - 5:27pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Pat Elliott)

Yes. They are. Do the medical research, don't just assert. It is a well-known fact that breasts that don't get good lymph drainage build up toxins and can result in breast cancer. It's also known that localized temperature rises in body parts as what is caused with bra-wearing, can increase the risk.

Both of these factors are present when you wear a bra, especially all the time.

Populations that don't wear bras have almost no incidence of breast cancer. When they start to "westernize" and wear bras, the disease appears. I'm not saying it's the only cause but the correlation to bra wearing and cancer is higher than the correlation between cigarettes and lung cancer, so make of that what you will.

Occasional bra wearing shouldn't be problematic as long as someone gets enough bra free time and also exercises (to promote lymph drainage), but I'm deeply disturbed by this new trend for people to sleep in their bras to keep their breasts perky. When you think about it, even if bras prevented sagging (which they do not, they just make you APPEAR like you aren't sagging while you are wearing them), you are LAYING DOWN when you sleep. The full force of gravity is hardly upon you.

But wearing a bra ALL the time, especially the types of constricting bras that are meant to "reduce sagging" or "prevent sagging" like underwire bras, is just asking for trouble.

Seriously do your research all you have to do is google bras and breast cancer to start finding the results.

If this were just some silly myth that couldn't affect health, it would be one thing, but I sincerely believe wearing a bra ALL the time is severely detrimental to health. In one study, women who wore a bra all the time, including while sleeping had a 125 fold greater chance of developing breast cancer than women who wore a bra 12 hours or less a day.

July 16, 2012 - 1:02am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Ummm, actually, the link between breast cancer and bras is in fact a well known MYTH that has been perpetuated by pseudoscience and internet rumors.

Please see: http://breastcancer.about.com/od/riskfactorsindetail/a/bras-breast-cancer.htm
An excerpt: "The American Cancer Society says that no scientifically valid studies have been done to prove the truth of the "bras cause breast cancer" myth. ACS mentions one epidemiologic study that compares rates of breast cancer for braless women and bra-wearing women. This study reported that risk was slightly less for braless women. But the researchers admit that bras themselves don't seem to be the smoking gun. Most women who go braless are fairly lean and small breasted. Women who have full breasts or who are overweight wear bras for support and comfort. Having extra body weight or having more than the average amount of breast tissue are factors that increases your risk for developing breast cancer....The National Cancer Institute agrees with the ACS, and does not list bras among breast cancer risk factors. Alcohol and tobacco use, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and excess weight may all contribute to increased risk for breast cancer - because these may raise your estrogen levels. Estrogen fuels most cases of breast cancer, so choose carefully when deciding about medications, food and drink that affect your hormone levels. "

See also WebMD here:
An excerpt:
"'We found no evidence that wearing a bra is associated with breast cancer,' said study author Lu Chen, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle....Chen decided to look at the issue because media reports have suggested that bras may hamper lymph circulation and drainage and interfere with waste removal, thereby boosting breast cancer risk. In a book published in 2005, the authors claimed to have evidence of a link between bras and breast cancer risk. And there are concerns that breast cancer may be more prevalent in developed countries, where women are more likely to wear bras, she said....The new research, funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, is published Sept. 5 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention."

Don't believe everything you read on the internets. Look for reliable information from trustworthy sources. Recognize that not all studies are created equal. Studies should be peer reviewed and their potential flaws examined. Look for scientific consensus, not a bunch of people repeating the same misinformation.

January 1, 2015 - 12:05am
(reply to Anonymous)

I am a breast cancer researcher. You claim that potential flaws should be examined, and that peer review somehow makes a study reliable. If you bothered to read the research, the Hutchinson study was seriously flawed, in that it did not include any bra-free women. You need bra-free women as a baseline and control. In addition, all the women were over 55. All the study showed was that some women who wear bras for 40 years or more develop breast cancer, and some do not. You can say the same about cigarettes and lung cancer. Interestingly, all the women in their cancer group were lifetime bra wearers, which supports the bra-cancer link.

The Hutchinson Center also receives money each year from a "Bra Dash". So bras are used to raise funds for them.

This highly publicized study was the only one showing a no connection. There are several studies which show a significant bra-cancer link. See below.

When you consider that constriction of any organ is bad for lymphatic circulation and overall health, the bra-cancer link should be a no brainer. More research is needed. But given that most women have become brainwashed into believing that they need artificially shaped breasts for support, considering their bra a health threat challenges their sense of identity and self. These women enable the profitable cancer detection and treatment industry continue ignoring this link.

FYI, here are studies that show wearing tight bras each day causes breast cancer.

Studies that Support the Bra/Cancer Link

1991 Harvard study (CC Hsieh, D Trichopoulos (1991). Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology 27(2):131-135.). This study found that, “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users…”

1991-93 U.S. Bra and Breast Cancer Study by Singer and Grismaijer, published in Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Avery/Penguin Putnam, 1995; ISCD Press, 2005). Found that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men. 24/7 bra wearing increases incidence over 100 times that of a bra-free woman.

Singer and Grismaijer did a follow-up study in Fiji, published in Get It Off!(ISCD Press, 2000). Found 24 case histories of breast cancer in a culture where half the women are bra-free. The women getting breast cancer were all wearing bras. Given women with the same genetics and diet and living in the same village, the ones getting breast disease were the ones wearing bras for work.

A 2009 Chinese study (Zhang AQ, Xia JH, Wang Q, Li WP, Xu J, Chen ZY, Yang JM (2009). [Risk factors of breast cancer in women in Guangdong and the countermeasures]. In Chinese. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2009 Jul;29(7):1451-3.) found that NOT sleeping in a bra was protective against breast cancer, lowering the risk 60%.

2011 a study was published, in Spanish, confirming that bras are causing breast disease and cancer. http://www.portalesmedicos.com/publicaciones/articles/3691/1/Patologias-mamarias-generadas-por-el-uso-sostenido-y-seleccion-incorrecta-del-brassier-en-pacientes-que-acuden-a-la-consulta-de-mastologia- It found that underwired and push-up bras are the most harmful, but any bra that leaves red marks or indentations may cause disease.

A 2014 Scottish study looking in the causes of increased upper outer quadrant breast cancer concluded that tight bras are a major contributing factor. http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/bras-linked-to-rise-in-breast-cancer-1-3422526

A 2014 study out of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that all the women in their bra and breast cancer study were lifetime bra wearers, supporting the bra-cancer link.

January 2, 2015 - 7:43am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Sydney Ross Singer)

Hello, I am a fulltime bra-wearer (?) but I wear a more loose fitting bra (B32). After reading your comment it really changed my mind about wearing a bra. Some people have said that wearing a tight fitting bra can definitely increase chances of breast-cancer. Although some say this, others say that just wearing a bra at all can still increase the risk. I am just wondering if I should stop wearing a bra completely, or if it's fine to wear a loose one.

October 31, 2017 - 8:17am
EmpowHER Guest

well I wear it all day but when in bed at night i take it off.its relaxing

July 21, 2009 - 11:24pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am more wondering about the wearing them to bed...I never do, but my friend does..and her boobs are much perkier than mine...but now I have a young daughter...should I teach her to sleep in it too?

July 21, 2009 - 10:53pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Your heredity, diet and body mass index are different from that of your friend. That she wears a bra to bed and has breasts higher than yours is a coincidence. In fact, the Japanese and French research would indicate that if your friend didn't wear a bra, her breasts would be even higher when she is upright.
It's hard to apply generalities to specific individuals.

January 16, 2011 - 2:52pm
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