Things I wish I knew before I got breast implants!
A MUST READ for anyone who is thinking about getting breast implants.
I had always been a very flat chested and athletic kind of girl before implants and for as long as I remember I always struggled with this. The only time I ever had bigger boobs was when I was pregnant and breastfeeding my first born. During pregnancy and breastfeeding I went from a small A cup to a C cup and loved the feeling of fuller breasts. But after 14 months of breastfeeding I slowly shrank back to my pre-baby size, only this time, the skin on my chest was stretched and saggy. Although it was an absolute gift to be able to breastfeed my child with no hassles, as most women feel after they have breastfed their babies, I felt deflated and ‘empty’ on my chest. So in October 2011, I decided to get breast implants (also known as breast augmentation). I have regretted the decision ever since and in the seven years I have had them I learnt the following things that I would like to share to anyone who is thinking about getting them:
Breast implants WILL NOT make you feel better about yourself! You may think that having bigger boobs will make you feel more confident as a woman, or dislike one less thing about your own reflection in the mirror, but let me tell you that you will find another area of your body to dislike. Maybe it will be your thighs, your butt, your stomach, your fine lines or who knows what but whatever it is, I can almost guarantee you will find something else on your body to shame and you will be right back to square one thinking those silly 'if only I had' thoughts! So girlfriend, I'll tell you first hand that the only thing that will make you feel more body confident is your very own mind and those very expectations and judgements you put on yourself when you look at yourself in the mirror every single day. A fresh set of boobs will not change a thing, if your head game is not strong. So acknowledge that you are unique and beautiful in whatever size and shape that GOD has created you! Please remember this, as you do not need breast implants to feel any more of a woman. Small titties, big titties, saggy titties, deformed titties... who bloody cares.. they are just boobs and what they look like does not determine how beautiful you already are. As corny as it sounds, there is merit in the saying, 'what matters is what's in the inside'
Breast implants are a foreign object to your body. They are basically plastic bags in your chest and are full of all sorts of foreign chemicals and heavy metals which your body may find hard to process, or even may reject. If only I had thought of this all those years ago. Having such a foreign object potentially leaching chemicals into my body does not sit well with me at all, especially as the woman I am today. I am the lady has been practicing a chemical free lifestyle for the past three years, who doesn't even wear synthetic perfumes because of all the chemicals, doesn't use plastic, or microwaves, has no wifi at home, and the lady one who's family only consumes organic or locally made produce. You get the picture. Having breast implants feels like I have an alien living inside and your body would be feeling the same way too.
Having breast implants can majorly fook up your physical sex life! Now this sounds contradictory I know, but let me explain. You might feel sexier in the nude with bigger breasts, but did you know that breast implants can cause numbness and even completely erase the sensation of your breasts! I personally lost all sensation on my right breast. How does this affect your sex life? The breasts are the closest external organ to our heart, and in Eastern methodologies, it is recognised that a woman’s breasts are the pathway to her heart and orgasmic pleasure. Touching and massaging the breasts gently activates the movement of energy and blood through the tissues causing arousal but this powerful arousal of energy is inhibited if you lose sensation to your breasts. Trust me, it's all fun and games in the bedroom until you lose sensation of your breasts and/or nipples and can't feel a thing. This can dramatically decrease your enjoyment of sex and even your ability to achieve orgasm as the breasts play such an important role in this.
When you have breast implants you are signing up to a lifetime of surgery! Your surgeon will not tell you this but breast implants need to be replaced every ten years (at least) which means you will need to go under the knife again either to have them replaced or removed. This will cost you more money, and mean you will need to go endure all the mental and physical pain, risks and recovery of having more surgery.
No one likes to say it out loud but breast implants can and do rupture! You will need to get checked for ruptures after the first three years of surgery and then every second year thereafter. The implant manufacturers are already aware of this so this is why some provide the following advice ‘You may need regular screening MRI examinations over your lifetime in order to determine if silent rupture is present. You should have your first MRI at 3 years after your initial implant surgery and then every 2 years thereafter. This excerpt is directly from the manufacturer of the implants that I have (full link in resources section below). I highly doubt your surgeon will tell you about needing to do this.
Breast implants have been unofficially linked to health issues such as auto-immune conditions and different types of cancer plus a range of other unrelated health problems. I have experienced this first hand with three members in my family having major complications with their breast implants. Two women in my family have had breast implant ruptures. One of these ladies ended up with silicone in her lymph nodes under her armpits and the auto-immune disease called SCELRODERMA which causes hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues and can be life threatening. Another lady in my family had a rupture and suffered from breast cancer for five years (however this was never officially linked). Most recently, another family member had her implants removed due to breast implant illness which brings me to my next point.
There is thing called Breast implant illness (BII)! Breast implant illness is the name given to the variety of symptoms and illnesses reported by women after breast augmentation. Often, allergy-like symptoms including fatigue, muscle weakness, aches and pains, and brain fog which begin shortly after surgery to name a few. Some of these symptoms can even appear years after the implants were put in. BII is not just something that occurs to women who have had implant ruptures, but it can happen to all women with breast implants. Some people believe that the illness occurs because the body has an auto-immune response in which the implant is rejected by the body resulting in the symptoms of BII. There is group on Facebook with 40,000 Australian and NZ women who claim to have this illness. There is also a US Facebook group of women who claim to have BII with almost 50,000 members! Out of these group of women there are approximately 50 women each week removing their implants because of health issues they believe are caused by their implants.
There is a rare type of cancer that has been discovered that only a women with breast implants can get. It’s called Breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). It is a kind of lymphoma .
If you are thinking about having children, even slightly thinking about it, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GET BREAST IMPLANTS! Two reasons. Firstly, breast implant surgery as you could imagine is quite invasive and can cause damage to the delicate tissues and milk ducts around the breast depending on the type of surgical procedure. This can greatly impact your ability to breastfeed your child. Some women are able to do it quite successfully however many others have struggled and have not been able to give this gift to their child all because they decided to have implants. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to breastfeed my second child with implants because they were inserted under through the arm pit and had no tissue damage. However I still don’t feel I had a ‘get out of jail free’ card which brings me to my next point. Secondly, there is a risk that the silicone from your breast implants transfers into the breast milk that your baby consumes! To date, there have been no scientific studies that have proven this, with more focus on whether on whether a woman can/can not breastfeed with implants however there have been many stories from women about this! Unfortuantely science only proves what science has funding for, and has the ability to test. But it is a valid and concerning topic that most people would like to swipe under the carpet. Trust me, as a mother breastfeeding my second child, this was a gut wrenching thought to have while breastfeeding my child for two years!
Looking at it from a practical perspective, although it is nice to look in the mirror and see bigger boobs, big boobs are actually a PAIN IN THE ASS to live with. Say goodbye to sleeping on your stomach, or even on your side, comfortably. You will also need to re-think your entire wardrobe as most of the tops you wore before getting boobs will probably not fit and will look different after implants so you will need to give a lot of thought to the kind of tops you buy as your breasts will need to fit comfortably. For example, high neck line shirts tend to make you look thicker around the waist when you have big boobs. You also need to be careful with the cut of tops as your boobs can pop out at the front or sides if you are not careful sometimes creating a very revealing look which might attract the wrong attention! Oh and people who like running and going to the gym will need to learn adjust to their new friends being in the way all the time and bouncing around uncomfortably! Smaller boobs are so much easier while doing a work out.
I know some of you may be thinking why the hell did I even get breast implants? I always said that if only I had waited two or three years, I would have probably never got them in the first place as my values and priorities around my health and how I view myself as a woman have changed so much. There is not a day I go by where I don’t question my health since I got my implants. To be honest, I have had a variety of auto-immune issues pop up in the last two years, including histamine intolerance and chronic hives which doctors have not been able to find a cause for so it has made me wonder. These days I also hate having big boobs, they are always in the way, they are uncomfortable and every time I look in the mirror they are just there in my face. Sometimes I notice when I am talking to people, it’s the first thing they look at and it makes me feel very uncomfortable.
So where to from here? Next month, I will be watching my mother get her 20 year old implants removed and I look forward to supporting her journey. I was also booked to get my implants removed this month but after attending my pre-operation consult both my surgeon and I have decided that it will be in my best interest to wait to have surgery. The reason for this is simply that I am not sure if I have completed my family yet. My surgeon advised me that the operation is a massive one. Breast implant removal takes approximately five hours plus up to a week in hospital but only 40 mins and day surgery to get them put in. Although I have been having some health issues of late, the surgeon said I have already had one successful pregnancy with breastfeeding with my second daughter which means it would be likely that I would have no troubles the next time round. If I removed my implants now, I would most likely lose my ability to breastfeed and on a personal level, that would really crush me. So for now, I am keeping them, as much as it irks me. However if I am not pregnant in the next year or two, it will be an absolute no brainer, I will ABSOLUTELY get them out and I CANT WAIT!!!!
So if you are thinking about getting breast implants my advice to you my love is to really thinking about all the whys? Why do you want to do this and what will it change? Also, I strongly advise on doing as much research as possible on all types of breast implants (e.g. textured vs smooth, high profile vs tear drop, saline vs silicone etc), the type of surgeon you wish to use, while most importantly investigating your current health status (e.g. through blood tests, genetic testing and analysis of conditions in your own family) before thinking about going ahead with surgery. If there is any kind of health issue that pops up then research on how breast implants could affect the condition/health issue. At the end of the day, you will make the right decision for you. I just want remind you to do your research so you can make an informed decision and the best decision for you, your body and your future!
I wish you well on your journey. If you have any questions, or want to know more about my personal experiences, feel free to drop me a line. And if something resonated with you in this article, leave your comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Until next time,
Breast Implant Illness - Aus and NZ Group link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/286572901689136/
Breast Implant Illness - US Group link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Healingbreastimplantillness/