Are breast enlargement creams and supplements safe for you?

Gone are the days when women want petite shapes- small butts and breasts. Today, it seems the bigger, the sexier. Many have resorted to breast enlargement creams and pills, but are these cosmetic products safe?

Two women holding breast enlargement creams

Today, many supplements and creams are marketed as breast enlargement products; however, there is no evidence that they are effective. Be wary of using breast enlargement creams; they may be unsafe for you. 

If you search “breast enlargement” on the internet, you will find hundreds of results, including creams, pills, supplements, injectables, etc. Most of the products claiming to enlarge the breasts are scams. 

Some of these breast enlargement product companies scam ignorant people by highlighting their pain points and promising them a safe solution through their products. Unfortunately, many people fall for this. 

The FDA has not approved any breast enlargement cream because there is not enough scientific proof to back up the claim that they work.

This article will discuss the safety of breast enlargement creams and supplements, as well as other safer and more effective options for uplifting saggy breasts and enlarging them.

Why breast enlargement creams and supplements are not safe

Aside from the fact that breast enlargement creams and supplements are mostly ineffective, they may have side effects that could pose a threat to your health.

Most of the breast enlargement supplements are touted as being made of herbs. However, a study showed no clinical trials have been published for them, and their use should be discouraged “due to lack of efficacy evidence and long-term safety concerns”.

Below are the reasons why these breast enlargement products may be unsafe for you:

Hormonal changes

Breast enlargement supplement manufacturers often tag their products as “effective” because they contain plant-derived substances like phytoestrogens. However, it is not clear how phytoestrogens enhance breast growth.

Phytoestrogens are plant-based derivatives that mimic the female sex hormone estrogen. These pills may have estrogen-like effects, and for that reason, there are health concerns because estrogen administered alone may promote uterine cancer.

A 2019 study showed high levels of estrogen unopposed by progesterone-induced endometrial hyperplasia or cancer in animal models.

This is why birth control pills usually contain progesterone alone or combined with estrogen. Progesterone is needed to oppose the actions of estrogen and balance up the hormones. 

Ingredient effectiveness not evidence-backed

Photo by David Gabrielyan on Unsplash

Some of the most common ingredients used in breast enlargement supplements include:

  • Dong quai
  • Blessed thistle
  • Fennel seed
  • Hops
  • Saw palmetto
  • Wild yam
  • Black Cohosh
  • Fenugreek

Some of these ingredients have good effects on the body, e.g., Germany’s Commission E found that blessed thistle helps treat indigestion, loss of appetite and liver damage. At the same time, wild yam and dong Quai are used for relieving premenstrual symptoms.

However, there are no clinical documentation or concrete evidence to prove that these ingredients cause breast enlargements. 

Breast enlargement may be a side effect of certain prescription medications such as birth control pills and antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). However, the ingredients for making these medications are not found in most of the breast enlargement pills sold over the counter. 

Drug interactions

Breast enlargement supplements can cause serious drug interactions. According to an article on Science Daily, many breast enhancement pills contain ingredients that can interfere with prescribed medications.

For instance, if you are taking blood-thinning medication like warfarin, your breast enlargement supplement may interact with it. Drug interaction may decrease the beneficial effects of the prescribed medication or increase its adverse effects.

Other breast enlargement options to consider

Since the efficiency and safety of breast enlargement pills and creams are not guaranteed, there are some other options you might want to consider if you want to enhance your breast size. 

Breast enlargement alternatives include:

Breast augmentation

Breast augmentation can help increase the size and shape of the breasts

Breast augmentation, also called augmentation mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure done to increase the breasts' shape, size, or fullness. 

In this procedure, fat can be transferred from one part of your body to the breasts to fill them up and increase size and fullness.

Breast implantation 

Breast implantation involves inserting artificial devices (prosthesis) into the breasts. They are sometimes done to support breast augmentation procedures. 

There are two types of implants- implants with silicone and saline. Each implant type comes with pros and cons. So, it is important to discuss everything, including the size and shape, with your surgeon before going under the knife. 

To help ensure the safety of use, the US Food and Drug Administration Agency (FDA) announced stronger safety requirements for breast implants in 2021. 

The FDA restricted the sales of implants to only health facilities and providers that go through the procedure's potential risks with patients before the surgery. Some FDA-approved breast implants include Sientra Mentor and Allergan. 

Breast lifts

Photo by Philippe Spitalier on Unsplash

If you have saggy breasts, getting a breast lift can change the shape of your breasts, which can make them look bigger.

The number of people who go for breast lifts now surpass those for other surgical breast treatments such as implants. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimated that breast lifts have gone up by 70% since 2000

If you don’t want to go under the knife, maybe due to the side effects of plastic surgery, there are minimally invasive or non-surgical breast life options you might want to opt for, such as:

  • Laser treatments
  • Thermage treatment
  • Botox injections
  • Dermal fillers
  • Aptos threading

Wearing a well-fitted bra can also help lift your breasts giving them a perkier, fuller shape. This can give the illusion that your burst is bigger.

Irrespective of the option you chose, make sure you discuss the pros and cons and to what expect with your surgical team.

References

  1. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. (2004, November 29). Women taking breast enhancement pills swallow empty promises. Science Daily.
  2. Chalfoun, Charbel et al. “Breast-enhancing pills: myth and reality.Plastic and reconstructive surgery vol. 114,5 (2004): 1330-3.
  3. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed). Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Blessed Thistle. [Updated 2021 Jul 19]. 
  4. Fugh-Berman, Adriane. “Bust enhancing" herbal products.” Obstetrics and gynecology vol. 101,6 (2003): 1345-9. 
  5. National Center for Health Research. (n.d.). “Will pills or creams increase breast size?
  6. Rodriguez, Adriana C et al. “Estrogen Signaling in Endometrial Cancer: a Key Oncogenic Pathway with Several Open Questions.” Hormones & cancer vol. 10,2-3 (2019): 51-63.