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Is it true that a woman's breasts can grow enormously overnight?

Asked by Kumari Issar of Mumbai, India

Gigantomastia is the condition in which a woman’s breasts grow dramatically very, very quickly. The condition happens during pregnancy.

Drs. N. Agarwal and three colleagues from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi report a case of gigantomastia in the October, 2002 Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

A 24-year-old woman, pregnant with her second child, had a “massive bilateral breast enlargement” during her 19th week of pregnancy. After the baby was born, it took 6 months of medical treatment for her breasts to reduce back to their normal size.

Gigantomastia is very rare. It occurs in 1 out of every 28,000 to 100,000 pregnancies.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

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