Can Wearing a Tight Bra Cause Problems?

Can Wearing a Tight Bra Cause Problems?

Question: Can wearing a tight bra cause problems? Read on to find out the answer.

Most women are bound to agree that they don’t find wearing a bra throughout the day quite fascinating. And some even think that the tighter the bra fits, the better! However, if you have trouble managing the entire day in a bra with no urge to get it off, then you are wearing the wrong bra size.

The bra size of an average woman would change about six times her whole life. It’s for this reason that you need to get a professional to get your measurements occasionally to get the appropriate bra you can comfortably wear every day. When you get the right bra size, it will fit all your needs. It’s a bad idea to continually purchase a similar size repeatedly with the hope that it will have a better fit.

Bras that fit tightly make the breasts appear fuller, enhance them, and most importantly, give support and shape. Some women wear their bras to bed. Recent research shows that wearing a tight-fitting bra can cause breast cancer. They argue that the bras tend to restrict the circulation of blood and also impairs the lymph tissues.

Can Wearing a Tight Bra Cause Problems?

According to the study, few nutrients and less oxygen get delivered to the cells, and the waste products don’t get flushed from the body. It mostly happens to women who wear bras for more than 12 hours a day and even sleep in them. The research also shows that women who fall in the middle-class are more likely to suffer breast cancer since they have longer working hours.

can wearing a tight bra cause problems

Because lymphatic vessels are quite thin, they are susceptible to pressure and can easily compress. General Physician M D Mody tends to agree. He says that the reason why tight bras are not suitable for the breasts is that they limit the lymph flow in the breasts. The lymph fluid would typically wash out toxins and waste materials, but a tight bra will inhibit this action, making them accumulate, and this can lead to the development of cancer.

Experts say that women believe following a regular diet, and consistently exercising reduces their chances of developing breast cancer. Wearing a bra with constricting underwires, especially sleeping in them leads to anoxia – less oxygen content than usual. It has a connection with fibrosis, which links to a higher risk of cancer.

Another doctor says that women whose families have a history of breast cancer should especially be careful. He also claims that when you find a lump in the breast, it may contain lymph fluid that faced obstruction from moving away from the body.

Most women who contemplate breast surgery reduction has an association with ill-fitting bras. The lack of sufficient breast support and the challenges women go through trying to get the right bra size has been linked to exercise reluctance. And this has some long-term consequences.

Additionally, putting on an ill-fitting bra for some time is not only uncomfortable, but it can also affect your body negatively health-wise. Research shows that the lack of breast support causes pain in the breasts. Most women realize that the health issues they deal with can go away with proper bra fitting. Besides, bras that fit snugly and those that are too large equally cause health issues.

Taking care of your health is very important – in fact, it has to be a priority. If you experience any of these common health issues, examine carefully the possible culprits that probably hide in your closet.


  • Acne

When the bra has a snug fit, it tends to rub up on the skin all day long, and this causes the development of acne from the sweat and heat that holds onto the body. It’s also known as the acne mechanica.

  • Infection

It’s yet another skin issue brought about by tight bras and occurs due to the bra not allowing the skin to have some breathing space. It can, therefore, result in bacteria and fungus building up, leading to rashes and sometimes skin infections. It’s a common health problem that can be hazardous as well, especially for those dealing with contact dermatitis.

  • Scarring

Visible underwires in a bra that tend to dig in the skin can cause open sores and cuts over time. The cuts and wounds can leave scars if you don’t treat them. An ill-fitting bra with no breast support can also cause stretch marks – this is when the skin does stretch beyond the recovery point.

  • Bruising

Bra straps that tend to dig into the skin can bruise the shoulders. Any bruise on the body suggests that the muscles in that particular part aren’t receiving enough blood supply.


  • Pain

An ill-fitting bra wouldn’t give your breasts high-level support. The weight of large breasts can go up to 5lbs each, and if you wear the wrong size, then it won’t support all that weight. Poor construction and incorrect sizing can likely exacerbate severe shoulder, back, and neck pain.

  • Shoulder pain

Tight straps that tend to dig in the shoulders pinch the nerves and cause strain on them as well. Eventually, this can make the rotator cuff motion to decrease. It can also create deep grooves on the shoulders, which can be a permanent change in the body.

woman with bra straps digging into the shoulders

  • Back pain

A slouch of the joints to reduce the pain causes unnecessary pressure on the back, and this leads to pain in that part as well. It’s is especially common for women with bigger breasts.

  • Neck pain

Sometimes, the pain tends to extend up to the neck. As the muscles work hard to support your other body areas, they might neglect to support the neck, which often causes severe or slight pain.

  • Headaches

Failure to get proper support of the breasts from a bra will make your muscles to work extra hard to support all that weight on the chest. It can cause the muscles to strain, which in turn leads to headaches.

  • Tenderness

When you overly restrict the breasts from moving naturally, it reduces the lymphatic system drainage, which leads to tenderness. Moreover, the lymph nodes need to function perfectly well since they help in supporting a similarly healthy immune system.


  • Slouching

If you feel too much tension on the muscles from the breasts’ weight, you’ll sometimes slouch unknowingly to reduce a little bit of the pressure.

woman in a slouching position

  • Your look

When the bra doesn’t fit perfectly well, it will often affect how you entirely look. Cup overflow, gapping, unsightly bulging, or sagging can ruin you supposedly perfect outfit and can also make you self-conscious weighing down on your confidence.

Find a Fit Bra

The simplest way which is also very important in correcting all these issues is to get a professional to fit you. Wearing the right bra size will help alleviate most of these issues fast. Currently, it’s quite easy to get the correct bra size without a hassle.

Bra companies like ThirdLove are innovative as they provide services online to help you get the right size just by taking a simple quiz. Here is their FitFinder Quiz.

The company also has some virtual specialists who assist in answering any further questions and providing additional information. They also discuss issues that women commonly experience when fitting for bras and the ideal ways of solving them.

Forget About Bra Cup Sizes

Warner Brothers did incorporate breast volume in bra sizing in 1945. We still use the alphabet cup size system to date.

The original system of bra sizing was up to D cup only. But after introducing the system, we have also seen changes in body sizes. Several women buy cup size D and even more significant. Other bra companies use the same method of sizing to make bigger cup sizes.

woman measuring her bra size

Measuring the right bra size can sometimes be challenging. You can alter the measurements accuracy by breathing, body size, and posture. Some researchers recommend getting the measurements over a thin bra that fits well and shouldn’t have padding. But a majority of the women get measured while putting on one of their bras, regardless of its fitting.

Since there’s no grading method or a universal size chart, different bras from different companies might have inconsistent sizing. Unfortunately, even bra fitter’s experience varies, and the market has no qualification or level of competency.

The bra market can be confusing and overwhelming, as well. But, unlike other things, the size of breasts tends to change, primarily through pregnancy and menstrual cycle. Therefore, bra size can also change regularly. Notwithstanding this, we have limited guidance for women to gauge their bra fit.

Despite being conversant will all these health implications, many women still wear the wrong bra size.

Occasionally taking your time to get measured for the correct bra size will always lead you down the road of comfort that will last for a long time. It’s also essential to wash the bras regularly, care, and store them properly as well. It’s, therefore, safe to say that when you take care of your bra, it will take care of your health.

So, can wearing a tight bra cause problems?

The answer is yes. A tight bra can lead to various problems that we have highlighted above. Therefore, make sure you get a fitting bra; one that is neither too tight nor too loose. Use our online bra size calculator to know your true bra size.


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