Q: Dr. Eppley, can breast implants be injured during sex? While having sex with my husband he leaned on my breast and it caused some immediate pain. For the past few days now, I have had lingering pain although it has gotten better. That breast also feels a little harder now. Could I have a breast implant rupture? I had silicone implants placed three years ago.
A: Your question is actually a common one and let me provide an overall explanation. The shell or bag of a breast implant is made of a very flexible but strong silicone elastomer material. It is designed knowing full well that it will regularly be exposed to a compressive crushing force…known as mammograms. Any woman that has ever had a mammogram can testify to the fact that their breast is really squashed between two paddles to do a mammogram. Millions of breast implants are exposed to lots of mammograms every year in the U.S. and around the world and there is no evidence that they induce rupture unless the implant shell has already been weakened. So it is highly unlikely that rupture of breast implants can occur as a result of sexual activity. It takes a high energy force to rupture a breast implant such as might occur from an automobile accident or other traumatic injury. What you are likely feeling is a mild bruise around the implant capsule which should go away in a few weeks. If in doubt, an MRI or a high definition ultrasound will be needed to answer the breast implant rupture question conclusively.
Dr. Barry Eppley