Most of us are more interested in looking at them than learning about them, but if you really want to know more about the female form then you should probably start with the breasts. There’s more to them than meets the eye, and women should be aware of the functions of the breast in order to properly care for and monitor the body part for signs of disease or cancer. These are the most important parts of a breast and their functions.
They’re also called mammary glands, and believe it or not men have them too. During puberty, some young boys might experience the growth of breast tissue. Most do not.
Depending on where you live and how society views the breast, there is a psychological association to a woman’s sexuality. Like with all things in life, we’re obsessed with size as a people. Women who have smaller breasts might have self-esteem or self-image issues, but the size of the breasts has no bearing on other functions. Because of this factor, the loss of breasts following breast cancer or another disease can result in psychological issues that should be treated with professional help.
The breasts perform two primary roles during child rearing: one, the breasts are used to provide sustenance in the form of milk to a woman’s children. Two, it offers the child immunological protection. This protection stems from antibodies, vitamins, enzymes, and chemical mediators in breast milk that strengthens a child’s immune system and reduces the chances of a child developing certain allergies later in life.
The part of the breast we see is made up of the skin, areola, and nipple. Underneath is breast tissue or stroma. Interlobular stroma helps protect and support the breasts. Intralobular stroma houses all the tissue which provides functionality to this body part. The alveoli, or acini, and nearly two dozen lobules in the mammary gland help produce milk, which can then be drained out of terminal and lactiferous ducts and into the lactiferous sinus where it stays until the hungry baby (usually) is ready for a meal. The ducts and lobules are complemented with a lining of luminal epithelium cells, behind which is an epithelial layer of muscle called the myoepithelium. When a baby suckles, these muscles contract and squirt the milk out of the breast. Yummy!
The breasts can also perform a sexual function during intercourse. Because stimulation of the female nipples services the region of the brain associated with clitoral, cervical and vaginal stimulation, a woman can achieve orgasm through and in the breasts, causing them to grow in size up to twenty-five percent (an aforementioned plus for most men). They become more sensitive, and the additional blood can cause changes in hue.