Think you know your boobs pretty well, don’t you? Well, there may be a few gems among these fun breast facts that surprise you.
1. Every nipple is like a beautiful unique snowflake. No two nipples are identical – not even on your own body. They range in color and size, and some change color when aroused.
2. Scientists have found that breast milk contains naturally-occurring substances – known as cannabinoids – that are closely related to one of the primary active components of marijuana.
3. Some women experience as much as a full cup size of breast growth during PMS. This is due to the body producing higher levels of the hormones progesterone and prolactin while a woman is premenstrual, which can cause swelling,
4. Ever wondered why men have nipples? Nipples form on a fetus before biological sex is determined – that’s why we all have them.
5. Experts agree that with enough sucking and massaging, anyone can produce milk – meaning men can lactate too, if they really want to. Male breasts have milk ducts and mammary tissue, and like women, men produce oxytocin and prolactin, which are the hormones responsible for milk production.
6. When it comes to breastfeeding, size really doesn't matter. Larger breasts have a higher proportion of fatty tissue, compared to glandular tissue. This has no effect on the amount of milk a woman is able to produce.
7. Got an ‘innie’? Don’t worry about it. Around 15 percent of women have inverted nipples. The only reason to worry is if your nipple changes from an outtie to an innie – this can be a symptom of breast health issues, so be sure to get any changes in your boobs checked.
8. 1 in 50 women have a third nipple (and so do 1 in 18 men). They’re normal. Just ask third-nipple-club members Tilda Swinton and Mark Wahlberg
9. Some people can achieve orgasm solely through nipple stimulation. A 2011 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine used MRIs to track brain responses to different types of physical stimulation. Researchers found nipple self-stimulation led to activation in the brain's genital sensory cortex.
10. The current Guinness World Record holder for the largest natural breasts is Annie Hawkins-Turner, whose chest measures 70 inches over the nipples and around her back, boasting a bra size of 102ZZZ.
11. Humans are the only species to have permanently enlarged breasts. In non-human primates and other mammal species a full breast is a visual indication the female is suckling young.
12. Not symmetrical? No worries! No two breasts are the same, and in most women, the left one is usually bigger. One theory on this suggests that immune hypersensitivity (which is higher on the left side of the body) has an impact on hormones that help determine breast size and shape.
13. A woman's breasts are never exactly the same, but they are most symmetrical between days 14 and 16 of her menstrual cycle due to hormones released during ovulation.
14. Our breasts are growing! The average bra size in the UK is 36D, up from a 34B ten years ago. Similarly, in the USA the average bra size is a 34DD, up from a 34B 20 years ago.
15. As many as 80 percent of women are estimated to wear the wrong size bra. As well as effecting the way your boobs look, wearing an incorrectly fitting bra can lead to back pain, indigestion and even headaches.