Female breast structure

Asymmetry of the mammary glands: normally can reach a difference of 2 sizes between the right and left breast! What is not a disease! But if a girl is worried about breast asymmetry, then surgical correction is necessary not earlier than 18 years old,

The female breast is a complex body designed to provide optimal conditions for performing its main physiological functions: the formation of milk and the feeding of a child. The breast consists of the skin under which the gland itself is hidden, as it is also called, glandular tissue – the same organ in which milk is formed. The glandular tissue (gland) is attached with connective tissue to the muscles of the chest glue. Around the glandular tissue, between its lobes is fat – adipose tissue.

The amount of fat in the female breast varies greatly. In some women, the breast consists almost exclusively of fat. As a result, their breasts can vary greatly in size with variations in body weight. In some women, the glandular tissue is much larger than the fat, and the size of their breasts practically does not depend on weight, on weight. If the growth of adipose tissue can be forced by abundant nutrition, then the growth of glandular tissue is partially controlled by hormones. This explains why breast size can change during the menstrual cycle or after menopause.

Under the breast lies the pectoralis major muscle. The chest is attached to this muscle, but in the chest itself, contrary to popular belief, there is no muscle, so it is impossible to increase the size of the chest with the help of physical exercises. You can tighten around the muscles lying, but this will only increase the volume of the torso and will not affect the size of the chest itself. Of course, it is impossible to tighten saggy breasts with the help of physical exercises.

There is a widespread opinion that after plastic surgery the breast, as a rule, loses reflex responsiveness. Allegedly, when the incision is cut, the nerves are cut, as a result of which the breast loses sensitivity and ceases to be an erogenous (especially sensitive zone). This is not entirely true. Four intercostal nerve are responsible for the sensitivity of the nipple and areola. It passes at the level of the axillary line, forks into two parts and passes along the circumference of the breast into the gland tissue.

The mammary glands or mammary glands are the hallmark of the mammalian class. In humans, the mammary glands have both women and men. They are identical in structure, differing only in the degree of development. Before puberty, the breasts of girls and boys are no different. In some disorders of the endocrine system in mature men, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) may occur and milk secretion may occur. The mammary gland of newborns is also able to produce a secret (the so-called witches’ milk, lat. Lac neonatorum), but this is not the physiological norm.

The following describes mainly the mammary glands of women, which are female secondary sexual characteristics.

The mammary gland (lat. Glandula mammaria or mamma) is a paired organ belonging to the type of apocrine glands of the skin.

In a mature woman, the mammary glands form two symmetrical hemispheric elevations adjacent to the anterior chest wall in the region between the third and sixth or seventh rib. For the most part of its base, each gland is attached to the pectoralis major muscle (lat. M. Pectoralis major) and partially to the anterior serratus muscle (lat. M. Serratus anterior). From the outside between the mammary glands there is a depression called the sinus (lat. Sinus mammarum).

Slightly below the middle of each breast, approximately at the level of the fourth intercostal space or the fifth rib, on the surface there is a small protrusion — the breast teat (lat. Papilla mammae). As a rule, in women who have not given birth, the nipple has a conical shape, in those who have given birth, it is cylindrical. It is surrounded by the so-called areola (lat. Areola mammae) with a diameter of 3-5 cm. Pigmentation of the skin of the nipple and areola is different from the rest of the skin – it is noticeably darker. In nulliparous women – pinkish or dark red, in giving birth – brownish. During pregnancy, the intensity of pigmentation increases. With sexual arousal, as well as in the ovulation phase, an increase in the erectile nature of the nipple and its sensitivity is observed. The erection of the nipple is due to the contraction of the muscle fibers inside it, and unlike the erection of the clitoris, it is not associated with blood circulation. There are a number of small rudimentary mammary glands, the so-called Montgomery glands (Latin glandulae Montgomerii), which form small elevations around the nipple. The skin of the nipple is covered with fine wrinkles. At the top of the nipple are small holes – the milky pores (lat. Pori lactiferi), which represent the end of the milk ducts (lat. Ducti lactiferi), coming from the tops of the milky lobes (lat. Lobi mammae). The diameter of the milk ducts is from 1.7 to 2.3 mm. Some milk ducts merge with each other, so the number of milk holes is always less than the number of ducts (usually there are from 8 to 15).

The mammary gland itself (lat. Glandula mammaria), which forms the basis of the female breast and is also called the mammary gland body (lat. Corpus mammae), is a dense body in the shape of a convex disk surrounded by a layer of fat (lat. Capsula adiposa mammae). The body of the mammary gland consists of 15-20 separate cone-shaped lobes, located radially around the breast nipple, facing toward it and separated by interlayers of connective tissue. Each share, in turn, consists of larger and smaller segments (Latin lat. Lobuli mammae). Each segment consists of alveoli with a diameter of 0.05-0.07 mm.

The blood supply to the mammary glands is carried out mainly by the internal thoracic (Latin a. Mammaria interna) and lateral thoracic (Latin a. Thoracalis lateralis) arteries.

Size and shape

Breast size and shape are individual. The mammary gland itself is much smaller than the whole breast. Individual differences in the size of the female breast due to the thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer. The shape of the breast (standing or hanging) depends on the strength and elasticity of the connective tissue capsule, which encloses the mammary gland. Thus, neither the size nor the shape of the breast affects the ability of the woman to breastfeed. However, they are an important component of sexual attractiveness. Breast size is usually expressed in terms applied to the designation of bra size. The average breast size varies around 80 cm in girth. Usually the left breast is slightly larger than the right one.

Changes during pregnancy and lactation

During the menstrual cycle, the mammary gland undergoes cyclical changes, however, the greatest changes occur during pregnancy. The mammary gland usually has a size in the diameter of 10–12 cm on average, and a thickness of 2–3 cm. The weight of the gland in young women who have not given birth ranges from 150 to 200 g. Already in the second month of pregnancy, visible changes are observed. The circulatory circle increases and becomes darker. Changes occur within the gland itself, until the birth of the gland, it gradually increases in size and is internally rebuilt. During lactation, the weight of the mammary gland increases to 300-900 g. During pregnancy, the gland gradually begins to secrete the so-called colostrum (lat. Colostrum gravidarum), which gradually with the development of pregnancy changes its properties and becomes more and more like milk. In the first days after birth, the so-called transitional milk (lat. Colostrum puerperarum), which is usually thicker and yellower than ordinary breast milk, is released. Normal mature female milk (lat. Lac femininum) is a pure white or bluish-white odorless liquid with a mild sweetish taste, fat content of about 4%. Breastmilk also contains salts and trace elements necessary for healthy growth of the newborn. At the end of the lactation period, the iron decreases again, but usually does not reach the initial (before pregnancy) size.

Regulation of development and function of the breast

The physiological processes occurring in the mammary gland are under constant hormonal influence. The mammary gland is the target organ, as it contains receptors for many hormones. On the development of the mammary glands in the pubertal period, their function in the reproductive period and during pregnancy, the postmenopausal involution has a regulating effect on at least 15 hormones Estrogens. Affect the growth and development of ducts and connective tissue. Recent studies have shown that in the process of growth and development, 4 types of lobules can form in the mammary gland: Lobules of type I. The least differentiated and known as "virgin", since they represent the immature female breast before menstruation (menarche). In lobules of type I from 6 to 11 ducts. Slices type II. Evolve from the I type lobules, they present a complex morphological picture, the number of ducts – 47 per one lobe. Slices type III. These are the mammary glands which are under the influence of hormonal stimulation during pregnancy. On average, in the type III lobules there are 80 ducts or alveoli per lobule. Lobules type IV. This type of lobules is represented in women with lactation and is not detectable in women who have not had pregnancies; they indicate the maximum differentiation and development of the female breast. In a slice of type IV there are about 120 ducts. Slices of type I and type I have the greatest sensitivity to estrogen stimulation. Currently, three equally possible and non-mutually exclusive mechanisms of prol and the ferative effect of estrogen on the mammary gland are proposed:

Female breast structure

Age-related involutive changes in the structure of the mammary glands are also characterized by the replacement of the parenchyma with adipose tissue. These processes are intensified after 40 years. In postmenopause, the iron is almost devoid of glandular structures and consists of adipose tissue with mild connective tissue layers.

Breast or natural feeding – a form of nutrition for a newborn person that was formed during the biological evolution of humanity, is the only physiologically adequate nutrition for a newborn and an infant.

In addition to actually sucking the baby milk directly from the mammary glands of a female mother, breastfeeding includes a chain of complex psycho-physiological interactions between the baby and the mother.

An important element of the successful establishment of breastfeeding is a joint stay of the mother and the newborn baby immediately after birth.

Among breastfeeding should distinguish:

  • feeding a biological mother, which is an integral part of natural education.
  • feeding the wet nurse
  • feeding expressed breast milk
  • Feeding with expressed donor milk.

Feeding on demand

Feeding on demand implies that the child is applied to the breast whenever he somehow manifests his desire to suck. Feeding is not limited either by the duration or the number of feedings per day. Feeding on demand, as well as joint sleep of mother and child, are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO / UNICEF).

Developmental anomalies

  1. Amazia – atrophy of the mammary glands, unilateral or bilateral, is extremely rare.
  2. Macromastia – excessive (up to 30 kg) breast enlargement, usually bilateral.
  3. Polymastia – additional mammary glands. Most often found in the armpits.

Polythelium – the presence of additional nipples. Politella (poly- + Greek. Thele – breast nipple; synonyms: additional nipples, additional nipples) – developmental anomaly in the form of an increase in the number of nipples of the mammary glands along the nipple line of the body

The term polythelia applies to mammals, in particular to humans. An increase in the number of nipples is recorded with a frequency of up to 2% in women, less often in men. Often they are mistaken for moles. Additional nipples appear along two vertical lines drawn through the location of the normal nipple and ending in the inguinal region (usually the nipple line roughly coincides with the midclavicular line). They are classified into eight levels of development, from a simple bundle of hair to a miniature breast, capable of excreting milk. The term “polythelium” should be distinguished from polymastia, implying the presence of additional mammary glands.

  1. Flat or retracted nipples, which may cause breastfeeding difficulties.

Female breast structure

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