Yay! You’re going through puberty and you're developing breasts. Now you need to learn how to take care of them! Here’s how to do a monthly breast self-examination.How to Do a Breast Self-Exam
A breast self-exam may feel strange or uncomfortable at first, but you should get to know your breasts. Then, if there is ever anything abnormal about them, you'll know! Puberty is the perfect time to start.
When to Call Your Doctor
- Make it a routine. Examine your breasts once a month, at the same time each month. Your breast tissue might change during your menstrual cycle, so the best time to perform a breast self-examination is right after your period ends.
- Check yourself out. Stand in front of a mirror and check to see if the skin of your breasts dimples or looks strange in any way. Notice how your nipples look. Change the positions of your arms by raising them above your head, placing them at your sides, and putting your hands on your hips. Take notice of how your breasts look each time you change positions.
- Examine your breasts. If you do it on your bed, lie flat on your back. If you start with your right breast, lift your right arm up and put your right hand underneath your head. Move your fingers in a spiral motion from the outside of your breast towards your nipple. Use different types of pressure: light, medium and firm. Use the middle three fingers, not just the fingertips. Check for lumps near your armpits, too. Then switch to the left breast by lowering your right arm and putting your left arm behind your head. If you have large breasts, also lie on either side, checking the sides of your breasts.
Your breasts may feel lumpy or bumpy, which is normal. If one breast feels different from the other, or you're not sure if your breasts feel normal, go to your doctor, who will be able to answer any questions you may have. Don't feel embarrassed! Doctors deal with lots of people every day who think they're asking embarrassing questions. You can be certain that your doctor has heard it all! So ask any and all of your questions — you'll feel a lot better afterwards!
It's important to take responsibility for your own body. Perform breast self-examinations once a month. Getting to know your body also helps you to love your body. Just think of it as a monthly self-confidence boost. You'll feel better about yourself and catch anything that you and your doctor might be concerned about!
How have you got into the habit of checking your breasts each month?