Breasts and nipples come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. During puberty, your breasts develop and get bigger. And your breasts will change throughout your life.
Are my breasts normal?
When it comes to breasts, almost anything is normal — all sizes, shapes, and colors. Breasts can range from teeny to enormous, and it's common for them to be somewhat different sizes.
Your breasts will change throughout your life. Things like going through pregnancy and just aging normally affects the size and shape of your breasts. Breasts are mostly fat, so anytime you lose or gain weight your breasts can change. It's also normal for breasts to be swollen or sore before and during your period.
It's common to have stretch marks on your breasts (or other parts of your body) — pink, red, brown, or white lines on your skin that may be a little bit raised or bumpy. Stretch marks can happen when your body changes shape and your skin can’t quite keep up (like when breasts develop all of a sudden during puberty). Most stretch marks fade over time and become harder to see.
Just like with breasts, there's no one way that nipples are supposed to look. Both nipples and areolas (the circular skin around your nipple) come in different sizes and colors, from light pink to brownish black. The color of your nipples usually relates to your skin color. It’s also totally normal to have some hairs growing around your nipples.
Some nipples stick out like buttons, and others are inverted (tucked in) and look more like slits. Your nipples can get hard (erect) and pop out when you’re cold, sexually excited (turned on), nervous, or if something or someone touches them.
Breasts and nipples are sexually sensitive, so touching them can feel good. Many people like having their breasts touched during sexual activity. But if you don't like having your breasts or nipples touched, that's totally normal, too. It’s up to you to decide what feels good and what doesn’t — and you can tell your sexual partners what feels good to you when the time comes.
Breasts can also play a totally different role: you can use breasts for breastfeeding if you have a baby.
Many people worry about the size of their breasts, but try not to stress about it. Whether yours are big or small, all sizes are normal, and a part of your how your body is put together. There are no pills, creams, devices, or special exercises that can change the size of your breasts — the best way to go is to try and love your body the way it is. Some people’s breasts are big enough to cause pain or chronic back problems, so they may decide to get surgery to make their breasts smaller. If you have questions or concerns about your breasts, talk to a doctor or an adult you trust.
When do breasts start growing?
Everyone's breasts develop at a different rate. Most of the time, your breasts develop between the ages of 8 and 14. You might start growing breasts around the same time as your relatives (like your mom or sisters) did.
It can take a long time for your breasts to finish developing (growing) during puberty - it’s something that usually keeps happening over time. Sometimes the changes are slow, other times they may seem to happen overnight. It's normal for breasts to feel sore or tender as they develop.
Everyone develops at a different time — some people will start getting breasts before most of their friends, and others take a little longer. Usually breast development is the first sign of puberty, but for some people breasts keep developing until late in puberty. If you’re worried about your breasts growing very big or not growing at all, visit your doctor or a Planned Parenthood health center to make sure everything is OK.