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11 Things Your Boobs Tell You About Your Health

Aside from there's a 30% chance it's already raining.
PHOTO: Robert Delahanty
1. You're about to start your period.

Your boobs change throughout your cycle, but when Shark Week is just about to rear its ugly head, they tend to get really swollen and sore. In some women this continues while their period is actually happening – which can be a pain in the butt (or boob, technically speaking), but it's also totally normal and not usually a cause for concern. Coming on and off the pill can have the same effect too.

2. You're pregnant.

Seeing as your boobs give you a heads up when you're deffo not pregnant, it makes sense that they indicate when you are pregnant as well. In the beginning of your pregnancy, it'll probably be like an extreme version of the feeling you get pre-period, but then they'll also begin to grow, in terms of your actual cup size and the size of your areolas too.

3. You need a new bra…

If your underwire is stabbing you, your boobs are spilling over or you get back, neck or shoulder pain on a regular basis, your body could be crying out for a new bra. Having a proper fitting and choosing a style that's practical and supportive, rather than just pretty, will give your boobs the right provision, preventing aches and pains and – YAS, improving your posture and silhouette to boot.

4. Or you need to wash it.

Real talk: we both know you're not going to hand wash it, but it really does need washing all the same. Slipping into the same bra for weeks on end means sweat and bacteria collect in the fabric, which can cause fungal infections (nice) and lead to that itchy, irritated skin you might be experiencing. Here are 6 ways to machine-wash your bras without ruining them – trust us, your boobs will thank you.

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5. You're losing weight.

When you're losing (or gaining) weight, your boobs are often the first area to respond. This is because they're made up of a combination of breast tissue and fat tissue, and the higher your personal ratio towards the latter, the faster they'll shrink or grow. You might also notice you get stretch marks during this process, and that's totally nbd – they might appear pretty red and angry at first, but as time passes, they'll fade to nothing.

6. You're eating too much salt.

Battling painful breast swelling even when it's not that time of the month? Water retention may be to blame. Oh yes, that bloating little bastard's not just limited to your tummy, and comfort-eating salty foods makes your booby symptoms even worse. Sad news: it's goodbye to chips, but the silver lining is that when you cut down on processed options and choose fresh, whole foods instead you should see a fairly fast improvement.