For as long as women have had breasts, women have been wearing bras, although the bra that we recognize today was first introduced in 1914. Most women have a love/hate relationship with their bra, refusing to leave the house without one, but counting down the moments until they can take it off again. Are there truly any health benefits to wearing a bra, and if not, are there consequences to a lifetime of wearing this staple woman’s undergarment?

Why You Shouldn't Wear A Bra

In 2013, French scientist Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon conducted an in depth 15 year long study on how wearing a bra affected a woman’s breasts throughout the years of her life. In doing so, he concluded that, not only did wearing a bra not prevent breasts from sagging with age, but also that wearing a bra at a young age may also increase the chances of sagging later in life. This is because, according to Rouillon, wearing bras prevented the growth of breast tissue, which led to deterioration of the muscles that support the breasts. If you don't wear a bra, the muscles are worked-out more, CBS News reported.

Wearing a bra at a young age could stop breasts from developing collagen. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

"Our first results confirm the hypothesis that the bra is a false need," Rouillon told France Info. "Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity. Instead, it languishes with a bra."

However, before you go and toss your your Victoria’s Secret collection, the study was only conducted on women aged 35 and under, and Rouillon concluded that going braless may not have the same benefits for older women, especially those who had already worn a bra for most of their lives.

"It would be dangerous to advise all women to stop wearing their soutien-gorge [bra] as the women involved were not a representative sample of the population," he told the Connexion.

Benefits Of A Bra

Any woman who has participated in sports knows that a good sports bra is her best friend. A sports bra helps minimize the movement of your breasts, which can help to reduce pain and discomfort caused by stretched skin and ligaments caused by working out, Livestrong reported.

Of course, we can’t overlook the aesthetic benefits to wearing a bra. A good push-up bra can help to increase the appearance of your bust, and any bra can help give your outfit an overall smoother look. Knowing you're wearing something pretty can boost your confidence. But as far as medical or health benefits to wearing a bra? Not much.