The Downside of Breast Enhancement Pills

Nearly 350,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2007 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons annual report, and breast augmentation continues to be the top choice in all cosmetic surgery options. While breast implants and breast enhancement surgery have become the procedures of choice for many women, some are skipping surgery entirely and reaching for a pill instead.

Breast enhancement pills made with nucleoproteins affect hormonal levels in the body,and are designed to trigger the effects of puberty where the breasts  naturally grow in size, increasing the rate of fat cells and connective tissue in the chest and boosting the breast size and shape.  

Despite this seemingly simple solution for breast enhancement, these types of pills are under scrutiny by many researchers and health experts. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has published a study in its medical journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (2004) that suggests breast enhancement pills could even be harmful to your health. From reproductive problems to dangerous drug interactions, here are a few drawbacks of breast enhancement pills:  

1. Delay of actual results. According to, differences in body chemistry can lead to a 5-8 week delay until you experience any effects or results.  Since the pills introduce plant-based estrogen compounds into the body, it can take up to two months for the body to adapt and start creating new breast tissue.

2. Not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Since most breast enhancement pills are made with herbal ingredients, they are sold as dietary supplements in the U.S. and are not regulated for safety.

3. Interference with prescription medications.  Many herbal supplements can interact with prescription medication and make them less effective, or lead to adverse side effects, allergies and poor drug absorption.

4. Estrogen imbalances. Taking an unregulated supplement that affects hormonal levels can lead to estrogen imbalances, especially when ingredients such as Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) and Wild Yam (Dioscorea Villosa) are listed in the ingredients. All three of these extracts have been linked to increased estrogen levels and may trigger an imbalance.

5. Harmful long-term side effects of organs and muscle tissues. Long-term side effects of many herbal ingredients found in breast enhancement pills are still undergoing research and various studies, so there is not enough data available to suggest that these potent combinations are safe.    Learning about the effects of certain herbs on estrogen levels may help determine if a supplement is really as ‘safe’ as you think. This report from the Institute of Traditional Medicine explains how increased estrogen levels can lead to breast cancer development, shedding some light on whether boosting estrogen is really a healthy strategy for breast enhancement.          

While the idea of taking a pill to increase breast size seems harmless, there are several health risks involved. Pills and supplements that are not approved by your doctor or physician may interact with other medications you are taking, and long-term side effects of changing hormonal levels have not been researched extensively to deem this a safe solution for breast enhancement. If you’re considering breast augmentation to improve your appearance, conventional treatments such as breast implant surgery and hormonal replacement therapy may offer more benefits than pills, creams and other unregulated products.  

A board-certified plastic surgeon can guide you through the process of breast enhancement surgery so you know what to expect, and what types of side effects may be involved. Find a plastic surgeon in your area to set up a consultation and learn more about breast augmentation surgery and related procedures. Being an informed patient will help you make the best decision for your health and provides more options for improving your appearance.