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Structure of the breast

Breast Development

The development of the breast goes through different stages at different stages of a woman’s life. The development of the breast begins in the womb. The change seen with puberty continues with pregnancy. Changes also occur during menstruation and menopause.

When Does Breast Development Start?

The first phase of breast development occurs in the womb at 6. from the beginning of the week. By the end of pregnancy, the nipple and associated milk ducts have formed.

2. In the breast with the puberty period. the phase of change begins. As the hormone estrogen starts to be secreted from the ovaries, fat and supporting tissue increases in the breast area and the breast begins to grow. Meanwhile, the milk ducts also participate in this growth. These changes, which are usually seen in the breast, start with hair growth in the groin and armpit areas.
With the onset of menstruation, breast tissue develops and milk glands form at the end of the milk ducts. The development of the breast starting with puberty is different for every woman. Breast tissue develops a little more with each menstrual period and this development continues until the 30s.

What are the changes that occur in the breast during menstruation?

In the first period of menstruation, the growth of the milk ducts in the breast increases with the effect of the increasing estrogen hormone. With the effect of the hormone estrogen, which increases during this period, ovulation occurs in the middle of the menstrual period. This is followed by an increase in the hormone progesterone, which stimulates the development of the milk glands. At this time, water retention in the breast increases, the breast becomes tense and tender. This development in the breast is the cause of the pain and tenderness that occurs close to menstruation. This type of pain is not related to breast cancer.

Close to menstruation, the external palpable structure of the breast also changes; with the development of the milk glands, various mass-like formations can be felt in the breast. Self-examination should therefore be done after menstruation.

This change in the breast is a preliminary preparation for feeding the baby that will be born if pregnancy occurs. If pregnancy does not occur, the period ends with the onset of menstruation. The increased cells are destroyed by other cells. The amount of water retained in the breast returns to normal. As a result, the pain felt in the breast goes away or decreases.

Changes in the Breast During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The full development of the breast only takes place at birth. Breast changes are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. As a result of the development of milk ducts and milk glands, there are complaints such as pain in the breast, pain in the nipple, burning. In early pregnancy, milk ducts and milk glands develop; in later pregnancy, the cells in the milk glands are transformed into milk-producing cells.

5 or 6 weeks of pregnancy From the first month of pregnancy, the breasts reach the capacity to produce milk. In addition to hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, various hormones such as FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), prolactin, oxytocin and HPL (human placental lactogen) have an effect on the breast.

The only reason for all the changes in the breast is to prepare for the feeding of the new baby.

Changes During Menopause

With the approach of menopause, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to oscillate; the blood levels of these hormones decrease drastically. All tissues, including the breast, which are under the influence of the hormone estrogen, begin to regress. Milk glands regress, the amount of water in connective and supportive tissue decreases (dehydration), elasticity is lost and the breast sags.