Bras may cause backaches and headaches if they are not fitted properly. According to Dr. Teplinsky, if the straps of the bra are too tight, they can create neck and shoulder pain and even headaches. However, a common myth is that bras can cause breast cancer due to obstruction of lymphatic flow, causing toxins to build up — and this has not been proven.
"There is no link between wearing a bra — underwire, or any other type — and breast cancer risk," Dr. Teplinsky says, pointing to a 2014 study performed by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle that looked at more than 1,000 people with breast cancer diagnosed between 2000 and 2004 and nearly 500 people without cancer between ages 55 and 74. "There was no association between any aspect of wearing a bra (bra cup size, average number of hours/day work, underwire, age that someone first began wearing a bra) and risk of breast cancer," she says.
Impact of Underwire
When wearing underwire, ensure that the wire sits on the ribcage behind the breast tissue, not directly on it, as this may cause discomfort to the skin. But when worn properly, there's no connection between underwire and breast cancer. For comfort reasons, it may feel better to switch into a more flexible bralette or soft cup design for sleep, but this comes down to your own personal preference.