A woman has launched a fundraiser for breast reduction surgery after her 40HH breasts left her with back pain, a hump on her neck, facing lewd comments and feeling unable to take her clothes off.
Helen Christie, 26, from Brighton, who was teased for having a ‘pancake chest’ before her bosoms ballooned when she was 16, wants to raise £3,000 for surgery in Prague, Czech Republic, to have them reduced to a size B or C cup.
Helen, who has been turned down for surgery on the NHS, said: ‘I do wonder if I was a man and had two gigantic tumours attached to my chest constricting my breathing whether I’d be eligible for surgery.
The pharmaceutical assistant said her large breasts, dubbed ‘Helen’s melons’ at school, have also left her feeling depressed and self-conscious, and have forced her to wear size XXXL men’s shirts despite being a size 16 at the bottom half.
Helen added that she couldn’t even take off her clothes in front of partner of two years Verity Oxford, 37, because of the pain.
Helen Christie, 26, from Brighton, has launched a fundraiser for £3,000 so that she can pay for surgery to have her 40HH breasts reduced
The pharmaceutical worker, from Brighton, said the large breasts had left her with back pain, a hump on her neck, facing lewd comments from strangers and feeling unable to take her clothes off
Helen, pictured, said that she wants a reduction to a B or a C cup, but has been turned down for surgery on the NHS
She also said that they have stopped her taking her clothes off with partner of two years Verity Oxford, 37, because it causes her pain
‘I’ve suffered with poor self-confidence since I was 15 as a result of the hefty size of my breasts,’ she said.
‘I struggle with social anxiety and am never comfortable taking my clothes off, not even in front of my partner.
‘I feel as though I’ve been cursed with being so heavily endowed. Whereas some women wish they could trade places and have big boobs, I would give anything to have no boobs at all.’
Feeling she was not taken seriously when she told a doctor she wanted a breast reduction Helen, who is now looking to have private surgery in Prague, in the Czech Republic, told how ‘overnight’ she went from being teased at school for being flat chested, to being scorned when she suddenly became a D cup – and kept on growing.
She said: ‘I was around 16 when I suddenly grew to a C or D cup and people started commenting, saying things like, ‘she’s grown.’
‘As my breasts grew, they would call them ‘Helen’s melons.’ People would comment on my ‘jugs’ and shout ‘nice t**s’ in the street.
Helen showed the lump on her neck (left and right) caused by her breasts and the marks where they have dug into her shoulders (left and right)
‘From the age of 16 I got cat calls and it made me feel so self-conscious. It was really creepy getting that kind of attention from men, who were often a lot older than me.
‘I just hated the attention and hated feeling like I’d been put on the spot.’
Over the next 10 years, Helen said her breasts continued to grow until they reached a size 40HH, meaning she has to wear size 18 to 20 T-shirt, or a man’s XXXL, while her bottom half is only a size 16.
‘I don’t wear low cut tops anymore, because my breasts fall out of them, so I stick to baggy T-shirts which make me look even bigger,’ she said.
‘I think I overcompensate by wearing a lot of eyeliner to try and make people look at my face rather than my chest.’
Helen added that it was painful to take off her bras because of the weight of her breasts
Helen said that she no longer wears blow cut tops and covers up in baggy t-shirts, which make her look even bigger
Having such an ample bosom also means Helen suffers with insomnia, as she struggles to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
She explained: ‘I always struggle to fall asleep and have to adjust my breasts into a position so that I’m breathing clearly and don’t feel like I’m up to my neck in excess breast tissue.
‘I usually lie on my side with my arm supporting one breast and my other arm in between them to support the other.
‘If I lie on my back I can’t breathe properly.
‘I get a really sore rash underneath my breasts and around my armpit, too, because it gets so sweaty in the crevices.
‘I have a curvature and a hump on the back of my neck from them pulling forwards and my head looks like it’s tilted. My posture is really bad.
‘There’s a constant dull ache in my back and the back of my neck and I get shooting pains up my arm, because of the position I sleep in.
‘My shoulders have indents in them from where the bra straps dig in.’
Helen also said that she is forced to wear size XXXL men’s clothes to accommodate her breasts, despite being a size 16 at the bottom half
Helen also finds it difficult to buy bras big enough for her bust and when she does find them, they tend to be very expensive.
‘I try to wear compression bras, in a bid to reduce my size but it’s a real struggle to find something that is within my budget. I can find bras for about £20, but I have to change them every couple of months, because the straps snap, as my breasts are so heavy,’ she said.
‘I can’t go jogging or running because there are no sports bras that will stop them from jiggling up and down.
‘If I lose weight they just start to sag and there is a lot of excess skin.
‘I can’t let them hang freely because they hurt, which has always been a problem when I’m trying to be intimate with a partner.
‘My confidence is so low that I never take my top off, I’ve never felt like I can get fully undressed in front of someone.
‘I’ve been with my girlfriend for two years now and she understands what I’m going through. All she wants is for me to be out of this kind of pain.”
When she visited a GP a year ago, feeling at an all-time low, she was examined and prescribed anti-depressants.
‘It took a lot of courage for me to go to the doctor. He examined my back and I explained about how it had affected my mental health and made me feel depressed,” she said.
‘I explained that I had such low confidence and thought there was a link between my depression and my breasts.
‘I asked to be put in touch with a specialist but nothing happened. The whole experience put me off. I felt like they didn’t understand and that there was no hope of me getting a reduction on the NHS.’
She feels unable to take off her clothes with partner of two years Verity Oxford, 37, due to the pain caused by her breasts
Helen, pictured with partner Verity, has also visited the GP to talk about her breasts but was prescribed with antidepressants
Feeling dejected, Helen began searching for a private alternative.
She said: ‘The cheapest place I could find to have the operation was in Prague for £3,000. I’ve heard it can cost up to £12,000 to have it done privately in the UK, which I just can’t afford.’
According to its website, the availability of breast reduction surgery on the NHS varies, depending on the eligibility criteria decided by the local clinical commissioning group (CCG).
Some CCGs do not fund breast reduction surgery at all. Others will fund it selectively if someone fulfils certain criteria, such as experiencing backache, shoulder or neck pain, skin irritation, rashes and skin infections under the breasts, grooves on the shoulders from bra straps, psychological distress, such as low self-esteem or depression and an inability to exercise or play sport.
If a GP thinks someone is eligible they can refer them to a breast or plastic surgeon for an assessment.
‘Surgery would change everything for me. I would just be free,’ Helen said. ‘I would be able to live a normal life. To be able to stretch my arms back without the weight of my breasts holding me back would mean so much.
‘You read about people who are able to have breast enhancement on the NHS to help boost their confidence, but it’s really disheartening that it’s so seldom available for people who need them reduced in size.
‘I do think that people might look at the fact I’m crowdfunding and think there are more worthy causes out there but I just don’t know where else to turn.’
To donate visit here.