Most forms of birth control consist of hormones (estrogen and progestin) that stop ovulation and prevent the fertilization of eggs. Estrogen and progestin also contribute to shaping a woman’s hips and breasts by distributing fat cells throughout these areas of the body.
Women’s health expert Jennifer Wider tells SELF that hormonal birth control methods like pills, patches, rings, and shots can impact breast size by causing fluid retention in the breast tissues. This is also called edema and is usually temporary.
Depending on your natural hormone levels, you could experience breast changes while using hormonal birth control. Combined birth control pills (such as Yaz, Yasmin, and Alesse) or hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs, implants, and rings) put human-made versions of estrogen and progestin into your body to prevent pregnancy. These hormones can cause your body to retain water, which makes your breast tissue feel and look fuller. It’s similar to the breast swelling and tenderness that happens before ovulation in a menstrual cycle.
While the size of your boobs can change, this effect usually wears off after a few cycles. You may also find that any increased fat cell growth or fluid retention caused by the hormonal pill will dissipate once you stop taking it.
Keep in mind that this side effect only happens with certain birth control methods — namely those that contain both estrogen and progestin, such as the birth control pill or IUDs. Nonhormonal birth control methods, such as the copper IUD, won’t have this impact on your breasts. While there is no scientific proof that birth control makes your boobs bigger, many women report this side effect anecdotally. And if this does occur, the breasts are likely to return to their previous size once you stop taking hormonal birth control. This is due to the fact that a woman’s hormone levels naturally fluctuate during her menstrual cycle, making it hard to predict when and how much your breasts will grow or shrink.
The breasts are a very sensitive part of the body, and most women experience changes in size throughout their lifetime. For example, pregnancy and breastfeeding typically cause the breasts to enlarge due to protective fat layers and milk glands developing. However, it’s not uncommon for birth control to make boobs feel fuller and bigger, too. This is most likely because most hormonal forms of birth control contain a combination of estrogen and progestin, which can lead to a change in a woman’s natural hormone levels.
When estrogen and progestin are absorbed into the bloodstream, they can cause water retention. During this time, the breasts can feel more tender and full, says Sutton. It’s important to note that these changes aren’t permanent and will most likely go away once the body adjusts to the new hormone levels.
Hormonal birth control methods like the pill, shot, and hormonal IUD are most likely to affect breast size, explains women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD. This is because these types of contraceptives can cause edema, or fluid retention, which can make the breasts feel enlarged. But this is a temporary side effect and will most likely reverse once you reach your placebo pill week. She says non-hormonal forms of birth control, such as the copper IUD, are unlikely to cause any changes in breast size.
Although weight gain is not directly linked to birth control, gaining a little extra around the hips and chest can make your breasts look larger. This is because the subcutaneous fat tissues in these areas contain estrogen receptors. When you are taking the pill, your body’s oestrogen levels rise and cause fluid retention, which can lead to these temporary changes in your breast tissue.
If your bra size increases while you are on the pill, don’t worry. The changes are likely to be temporary and will return to their original state once you stop taking the hormonal pill. Similarly, if your bras are sore or tender while you are on the pill, this is also likely to be a result of the increased oestrogen and may go away once your hormone levels return to normal.
The type of birth control that can cause a change in your breast size is mostly a hormonal method, such as the combination pill (Alesse, Yaz, and others) or a hormonal IUD or shot. Nonhormonal birth control methods, like the copper IUD or the pill with just progestin, are less likely to affect your breasts. If you are worried about a change in your breast size, speak to your health care provider about switching to a different birth control option or try taking a lower dose of the combination pill.
Chest Weightlifting Exercises
If you aren’t a naturally large-chested woman, you can still increase your breast size to look more perky by doing chest exercises. Strengthening your pectoral muscles will make your boobs appear bigger, according to an article on SELF.
A 20-year-old blonde bombshell claims she went from a small B cup to a big DD in just two months after she started taking the combined pill. She posted a selfie wearing a blue halter neck bikini top and credited her busty bosom to the pill.
It’s important to note that most women who experience breast growth from birth control pills are seeing a temporary change. The only way to actually grow your boobs is by getting a surgical enhancement.