Medical Specialty >> Reproductive Medicine

Doctors Lounge - Reproductive Medicine Answers

Back to Reproductive Medicine Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/16/2017.

Forum Name: Female Sexual Disorders

Question: No breast growth, 22 y-o female

 sarahg - Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:26 am

I am a 22-year old female, and have had practically no breast development – I am almost completely flat-chested, with very little nipple development; there is no increased sensitivity or physical responses associated with sexual activity. The problem is not that I have small breasts, it’s that I essentially don’t have breasts. I am otherwise very healthy, and have normal sexual responses. Is it possible that the lack of breast growth is because of a hormone deficiency? If so, is it possible to treat?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:13 pm

User avatar Hi Sarahg,

To better be able to answer this question, can you please give me some more information?

First, do you have a regular monthly period? Also, do you have darkening of the area around the nipple? Lastly, have you ever had any trauma to the area or radiation/chemotherapy treatment, etc., including when you were younger?

 sarahg - Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:21 pm

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Yes, I have regular periods, and there is a slight darkening (I have very pale skin, the color darkens about 1 shade). Except for a few annual recurrences of strep throat (ages 12, 13, 15; manifested mostly through mild/severe hives, not throat pain), I had no childhood traumas, illnesses, or anything of the sort.
Thanks again for your help,
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:40 pm

User avatar Hi Sarahg,

Given that you have normal menstrual cycles it is very likely that all your hormonal components are working properly.

Breast development is driven by estrogen as are menstrual cycles. The fact that you are menstruating indicates that you have estrogen activity.

So, I suspect that one of two possibilities is occurring. One is that your breast tissue may have been damaged or is not responsive to the estrogen leading to failure of breast development.

The other possibility is that genetically you are not going to have very large breasts. Given your description I think this may be less likely. It sounds as if you have had failure of breast development. It doesn't appear that you have had anything that would have caused damage to the breast bud tissue. Possibly there is some resistance to estrogen. This is where my knowledge ends about this issue.

You may want to see an endocrinologist or a gynecologist for further evaluation.

Best wishes.
 sarahg - Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:53 pm

If the problem is a resistance to estrogen (or failure to develop generally), is this somehow treatable or will a doctor most likely say there's nothing to do about it? I understand you can't give me a definite answer, but I'd love a guess as to whether a doctor visit will potentially be helpful (beyond the general benefits, of course)?
Thank you,
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:48 am

User avatar Hi Sarah,

I suspect that what ever the underlying cause there is unlikely to be a treatment that will cause breast growth at this point, unfortunately.

Many patients with similar issues as yours who are not happy with their current state will consider cosmetic surgery. Others don't want the risks of surgery.

Seeing the doctor may help give you a reason for the failure of breast development but probably won't do much beyond that.

Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us