The infanitile breast in both sexes consists of nipple which projects from a pinky surrounding area called the areola. Around the 10th or 11th year of life the areola bulges,and the nipple projects from the center. The development of the male breast ceases at these point,but the female breast develops further as the sex hormones(oestrogen and progesterone) are secreted by the ovaries.
The milk ducts,which grows inwards from the nipple,divided into smaller ducts and divide again to form tiny milk-secreting areas called allveoli. At thesame time fat is deposited arround the ducts,so that the breast becomes increasingly protuberant and conical-shaped. After puberty,the development is so rapid,and by the mid-teens the breasts have assumed their adult form,being rounded and firm. Infact,without the assistance of cosmetic surgery they are rarely as round and as firm as fantasies would have you believe.
When a young woman stands up,her breasts hang down slightly convex,joining the skin of the chest at an acute angel. Prenancy leads to a considerable growth of the ducts and the alveoli, and if the mother breast feeds her baby,the development is even greater. But in the majority of women the breasts return to their non-pregnant size and shape once lactation has ceased.
The adult breast is of variable size,the size having no relationship to the ability to breast feed.Small breast can produce as large milk as the large breasts. Anatomically the breasts is divided into 15 to 25 sections of an orange.Each lobe has its own duct system,which ends in dilated area under the areola and extending into the nipple. There are therefore 15 to 25 openings on the nipple.Going backward,the main ducts divide into still smaller ducts,and like the branchs of a tree,these ducts divide into still smaller ducts each of which ends in, and drains, a collection of 10 to 100 milk secreting areas.
The entire duct system is embeddedin a pad of fat,and it is this which gives the breast its shape. The ducts system of each lobe therefore resemble a tree,the alveoli being the leaves,the small ducts the branches, and the main duct the trunk.
During each menstrual cycle changes occur in the breasts,the ducts developing and the alveoli budding in the second half of the cycle.At thesame time fluid oozes into fatty tissue of the breasts so that they become firmer and heavier.In some women they may become tender and cause discomfort,which is most marked in the week before menstruation. This is not abnormal,but merely an exaggeration of the normal, and treatment will help.In a few women,the swelling and tenderness persist instead of dimminishing during menstruation and disappearing in the first half of the next menstrual cycle. The breasts remain tender and the gland tissue can be felt as irregular lumps. If this occurs,the woman should consult her doctor so that he or she may investigate fully and give her treatment to relieve her discomfort.
As the woman becomes older.the breasts tend to get larger and the fibrous tissue bands tend to stretch,so the breasts drop more.After the menopause,the ducts and aveoli become smaller, and the fat starts to go,so that in old age breasts become smaller,wrinkled and floppy. by john njikanma