Breast prostheses (also called breast forms, fake breasts, prosthetic breasts and false breasts) are wearable items intended to mimic the look, feel, shape of natural breasts. There are many types, shapes and styles of breast prostheses; some attach directly to the skin and some use special bras to hold the prostheses in place.
Using breast prostheses is common among trans women and AMAB nonbinary people looking to appear more feminine, however this is not limited to just these two groups. Genderfluid people, for example, might switch between binding and using breast prostheses depending on how they wish to present on a given day.
Choosing the right breast form[edit | edit source]
Shape[edit | edit source]
There are five main shapes of breast form: oval (or teardrop), round, triangle, asymmetrical and a breastplate. There's two main shapes for the back of the forms too - concave/shell (for those who have some breast tissue), and flat (for those without).
Oval/Teardrop[edit | edit source]
This is marketed as the "classic" breast shape. The breast forms do not have a specific side to be worn on.
Round[edit | edit source]
Simple, and the easiest shape to aim for if creating your own. These do not have to be worn on a specific side.
Triangle[edit | edit source]
Shaped more like a pyramid, these give more shape outwards. These can also be worn on either side.
Asymmetrical[edit | edit source]
Combine both the oval and triangle shapes. The wearer must make sure that the forms are worn on the correct side because, as the name states, the forms are not identical.
Breastplate[edit | edit source]
Also known as a cleavage top, these allow the wearer to wear lower cut outfits. The join around the neck is the more noticeable thing here, but it can be hidden with makeup or chokers.
Material[edit | edit source]
Foam[edit | edit source]
Often cheaper than silicone, although they may not feel as realistic as desired. These are cooler and lighter, so are good for those who lead active lifestyles or are looking for something to wear while exercising.
Silicone[edit | edit source]
These can look realistic and are simpler to take care of (see below), and are the most widely available (marked mainly at those who have had a mastectomy).
Bead-filled[edit | edit source]
The bead will fill the shape of the bra worn, and as air is able to circulate, they can be cooler than other materials.
DIY[edit | edit source]
Care[edit | edit source]
Taking care of a breast prostheses is rather like taking care of yourself. Wash it daily with soap and warm water, then dry with a soft cloth or towel, or air dry. Silicone prostheses may come with a cradle or plastic packaging. Store those in the packaging/cradle to help preserve the shape of the prostheses. Do not use anything you would not use on your skin to help preserve the life of your forms.
Repairing Damage[edit | edit source]
Sometimes, damage may happen to a form. A silicone form may tear, a bead-filled form may tear. The silicone form can be repaired temporarily with a plaster or bandage, but should be replaced soon. Depending on the outer material of the bead-filled form, it could be sewn back together to prevent the remaining beads from falling out. If some have escaped, replacing the form would allow the pair to remain symmetrical.
Air travel and breast prostheses[edit | edit source]
Packing them in a suitcase[edit | edit source]
Treat them like you would usually - don't pack them near anything sharp, etc. If you have silicone forms and your prostheses are stored in the luggage hold, you may notice some black dots or bubbles on the prostheses. This is expected, as the luggage hold is not pressurised, and will go away after landing This does not cause any harm to the prostheses.
Going through a body scanner[edit | edit source]
Your breast forms will show up on a body scanner, if you have been instructed to go through one. You can request a female screener if that would make you more comfortable, and the process of scanning will only take a few seconds. The images are viewed remotely from the machine and cannot be seen by the public. The screener will not see you or be able to recognise you. The images don’t show facial features, hair or skin tone, and are deleted immediately after analysis.
Sports[edit | edit source]
It may be a good idea, if possible, to have a second pair of forms for sports and exercise. You will be able to carry on wearing one pair while the other is still drying.
Swimming[edit | edit source]
There are prostheses available specifically for swimming that won't get damaged by chlorine or salt water. Any swimming costumes used with prostheses will need to cover it to hold it in place. If you choose to wear a bikini top, choose one that comes in bra cup sizes, and has a full cup and supportive underband. Although you can swim in a silicone or foam leisure prosthesis, it’s important to rinse it well afterwards to avoid any possible damage from the chlorine or salt water.
Donations[edit | edit source]
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Places who offer giveaways, or give help to those looking for breast forms:
See also[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- https://gracemd.ca/categories/breast-forms.html Archived on 17 July 2023
- https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/living-beyond-breast-cancer/your-body/breast-prostheses/prosthesis-styles Archived on 17 July 2023