Breast Anatomy And Physiology: Breast Development In Women

Let us talk of female breast anatomy; female breast is a mammary gland which secretes milk. There are two breasts, each on either side of sternum.

The breast overlies from second to sixth rib on the thorax. It extends from the lateral border of the sternum to the anterior auxiliary line.

Breast Anatomy And Physiology

Breast is composed of axillary tail, lobules, ligament of cooper, the areola, nipple, lymphatic and connective tissue.

On the anterior and upper side the breast has nipple and areola. Areola is dark round surface which surround the nipple.

Female Breast Anatomy

  • Pectoralis major: large chest muscle below the breast.
  • Pectoralis minor: small chest muscle situated below the breast.
  • Subcutaneous fat: just below the breast skin.
  • Infra mammary crease: the junction of breast and the abdomen.
  • Lactiferous Ducts: transports milk to nipple.
  • Lobules: the basic structural unit of mammary gland. Milk is secreted in lobules. The lobules form lobes; there are fifteen to twenty lobes in each breast.

Physiology Of The Breast

Lymphatic: the lymph vessels drain the nodes that lie between the pectoralis major and minor muscles. It also drains in the auxiliary lymph nodes and in the nodes below the clavicle.

Nipple: It is covered by thin and crinkled skin.

There is an orifice or opening of lactiferous duct at its apex. Through which the milk and other discharge comes out. The nipple of nullipara is pink and with pregnancy they change the color by deposition of melanin. It gets erect and point forward and outward for the convenience of the child during feeding.

Areola: the subcutaneous tissue contains involuntary muscles in concentric ring and radially. The areola contains sebaceous gland, sweat gland, accessory mammary gland. The sebaceous gland enlarges during pregnancy and serves to lubricate the nipple during lactation.

Breast Development In Women

Breast changes as the girl attains puberty. Its size increases as she grows till adulthood. During pregnancy the size of the breast increases and the nipple and areola become dark and pigmented. The breast becomes tender. The blood vessels of breast enlarge and the ducts also enlarge.

After the menopause, the breast tend to increase in size and sag because of fibrous tissue losing its elasticity.