It’s every woman’s nightmare. Okay, maybe it’s not quite as extreme as a nightmare, but no woman wants to hit a certain age and find that her breasts are sagging. For better or worse, breasts are seen as an object of beauty by people in the majority of countries. Saggy breasts are not part of this idea of beauty. Here are just a few things you might not know about the unpleasant existence of sagging breasts.

1. As you get older, they droop

Age is usually the biggest predictor of sagging breasts. Why? Well, as women age, breast tissue begins to break down. That tissue is full of collagen and elastin, both of which break down as women age. Glandular tissue is also an issue, as after menopause it begins to break down and be replaced by fat, something that droops more easily. All women are going to experience drooping breasts as they age, whether they want to or not, but there are strategies for reducing the amount of droop that give every woman some hope as they grow older.

2. Sports bras are a great way to prevent drooping

A regular bra isn’t a solution to sagging breasts, but sports bras make a huge difference in the lives of active people who play sports or do a lot of running and walking. When you run or power walk, the breast’s connective tissues can begin to break down more quickly. Sports Bras Direct Sports Bras help to remedy this situation. If you’re playing sports or running, grab a sports bra.

3. Breastfeeding doesn’t cause sagging

Many people associate breastfeeding with sagging breasts, but the reality is that it’s pregnancy all by itself that makes ligaments and tissues stretch. It’s not the actual breastfeeding. If you want to breastfeed but are afraid to because you believe it causes sagging, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Breastfeeding does not cause sagging breasts. During pregnancy, weight gain is normal, but you can work to minimize it so that the ligaments aren’t stretched as much. While there’s no way to avoid weight gain, there are women who work very hard to maintain as normal a weight as possible during a pregnancy, and that will be your best bet against droopy breasts after a pregnancy.

4. Smoking causes sagging breasts

Bad lifestyle habits contribute to sagging breasts. For example, smoking causes a breakdown of collagen in the body, something that breast tissue is heavily composed of. As the collagen breaks down, the breasts begin to droop. Other activities like tanning might also contribute to sagging. Bad diets are another culprit of sagging breasts as you age. If you want to keep those breasts perky, make sure to either stop smoking or never start in the first place, minimize tanning, and always be sure to have a nutrient-rich diet.

5. Plastic surgery can help for droopy breasts

People who are able to afford plastic surgery are lucky because there are now procedures that reverse sagging breasts. Many women would prefer not to go under the knife, though, as it can cause scarring and it’s just generally painful and unpleasant to have plastic surgery. For women who aren’t to the stage where breasts are sagging yet, there are some things you can do to slow the process that won’t involve invasive surgeries.

Every woman has some opinions or feelings about growing older. There are women out there who look forward to menopause and other women who become clinically depressed over it. Some women dread wrinkles, while others see wrinkles as a symbol of wisdom and confidence. Just about all women agree on the issue of sagging breasts, though. No one wants to deal with that, even the bravest of women. Fortunately, there are a few proactive things you can do in your life, no matter how old you are, to slow the sagging of breasts. Don’t smoke, wear a sports bra while you exercise, avoid UV rays as much as possible, and remember that you can always consider plastic surgery if it’s within your budget. For women bold and confident about their aging, just stay comfortable.