Are my breasts normal?

Over half the population have a pair, but many of us feel embarrassed about discussing them. Breasts, boobs, bosoms - whatever you want to call them - come in many different shapes and sizes. With the series three of Embarrassing Bodies currently showing on Really, we ask a selection of experts all about boobs.

Are my breasts normal?

How can I check my breasts for lumps?

Whatever your age, size or shape, it’s essential to keep an eye on your breasts.

The experts at Breast Cancer Care, say: "Every year around 50,000 people in the UK find out they have breast cancer. It’s the most common cancer diagnosed in UK women."

"There’s no right or wrong way of checking your breasts and you can make it part of your normal routine. You could do this in the bath or shower, when you use body lotion, or when you get dressed."

Davinia Green, Breast Health Promotion Manager at the charity says: “If you feel a bit embarrassed or apprehensive about checking your breasts, it may be reassuring to know that you can make it part of your daily routine, it needn’t be anything to be scared of.

"Don’t be afraid of talking to your GP or delay going, as the earlier diagnosis may lead to simpler treatments options.”

The Department of Health recommend this five point checklist: Know what is normal for you; Know what changes to look for; Look and feel; Tell your GP about any changes straight away; Go for breast screening when invited.

For free, confidential support and information visit their website Breast Cancer Care or call 0808 800 6000.

What can I do about inverted nipples?

Some of us have what the medical profession call "shy nipples" - which can be pulled inwards, but can also protrude, depending on a number of factors such as the weather.

And while women with true inverted nipples - which are permanently inward - might be self-conscious, the causes of inverted nipples are not usually dangerous and surgery is not generally advised.

If you are worried, you could investigate the use of the Avent Niplette (for more detail see the Booby Bits website) - a device that effectively treats the majority of people with inverted nipples.

London GP Dr Carol Cooper, says: "Inverted nipples aren't usually anything to worry about.

"The exception is if they've become inverted recently. In that case go to your GP - it could be caused by disease of the nipple or even cancer."

What can I do about being flat chested?

Lady lumps come in all shapes and sizes, and many women want what they don't have.

It's important to feel comfortable with your shape and before thinking about surgery, consider why you want it.

Dr Jian Farhadi, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon for London Bridge Hospital, says: "Every woman has a different breast and chest shape.

"In most women, the size of the breast matches the overall shape of the chest itself.

"Occasionally there can be a discrepancy and if a woman feels significantly distressed about it, a surgical correction by breast augmentation can be performed."

GP Dr James Thompson adds that: "Breast enlargement surgery should be seen as a final solution once other options have been excluded.

"The more responsible surgeons will often perform a degree of psychological testing to ensure that the reasons you want the implants are sound and that your expectations from surgery can be met."

What causes saggy breasts and what can I do about them?

With the media pumping out images of perfect bodies on a daily basis, it's easy to see why we've become a nation of body haters.

Drooping breasts - or breast ptosis - can be caused by many things, but it's important to note that some just come that way. All boobs are different!

Dr Carol Cooper says: "I'm afraid it usually comes with time and pregnancy, and your breasts aren't the only thing to go south.

"As we get older the collagen in our skin weakens, causing things to droop. You have to accept this as a reality. If you worry about everything aging does to you, you could become quite neurotic."

"Nobody has a perfect body and you can't expect your body to go unchanged with time.

"Remember that a lot of pictures you see online are in fact doctored. Even top models and actresses are not flawless."

If you are considering a mastopexy (breast uplift) your first port of call should be your GP.

What can I do about asymmetric breasts?

No two boobs are identical and breast sizes can vary from a small amount to something more obvious. For some women a larger size difference can severely damage their self-esteem and body image.

Consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS member Kevin Hancock says: “Having asymmetric breasts just means your breasts are not a mirror image of each other.

"Most women have a slight difference in their breast sizes, but anything above a cup-size is considered to be asymmetric.

"The key thing is that it's not a one-size fits all situation. Plastic surgeons will ask the individual which breast feels 'normal' to them and then try to match the other breast using augmentation, reduction or mastopexy."