ALMOST all breasts are asymmetrical to some degree, but for some women, the difference in breast size is so distinct that it becomes unflattering and embarrassing.
The asymmetrical breast is a congenital condition, meaning it is something a woman is born with, but it becomes more noticeable in puberty as the breast tissue starts to grow. Apart from normal growth and developmental issues, certain accidents such as being burnt, infections or tumour can cause it to rapidly develop.
"In most women, one breast is usually smaller than the other and that is a normal thing. But when one is much smaller than the other, then it is due to a development problem," explained gynaecologist and plastic surgeon Dr Kemel Gajraj.
Although the discrepancy in breast size does not pose any medical risks, it often leads to emotional challenges for some women as it sometimes affects their self-esteem and their ability to have an intimate relationship.
"It affects them very badly, in fact just [recently], I saw a girl who is 20 years old and her right breast was very small and her left breast was very big and she had to be wearing padding in her bra on the right side and she can't go on the beach and she doesn't like to take off her clothes because it is very embarrassing," Dr Gajraj said.
Although women with asymmetrical breasts usually have at least one breast a cup size smaller than the other, Dr Gajraj said has seen cases where one breast is even three times the size of the other.
"You really can't do anything much except correct it. We can reduce the big breast to the size of the small breast," the plastic surgeon said, while adding that the small breast can be made bigger too.
But there are less drastic steps one can take to equalise breast size. The most common and cost effective way is to purchase bras that are able to fit the larger breasts and then purchase silicone breast forms to match the size of the larger breasts so that both can appear even. Some women also use padding instead of silicone.
But probably the most permanent solution is to have breast augmentation or a breast reduction. This solution is probably the best for women who are depressed or extremely anxious in social situations because of their differing breast sizes. The first step is to visit a plastic surgeon to get a consultation and then from there you can weigh your options.