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Going bra-less…because of fibromyalgia

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Nipple covers! what’s not to love?

I haven’t worn a bra in almost six months. I mean not at all. Not to work, not going out anywhere, not at all.

“Wow! That’s quite liberal of you” my friend said, when I told her. I stopped to think.

Though it might seem so, I actually haven’t resisted the bra for the sake of being liberal at all. I’m not trying to be scandalous either.

Fibromyalgia makes us ultra sensitive to pain all over our bodies, and even the slightest touch and things that should not be painful, like tickles for instance, are.

That’s what made me fling my bra at the back of the closest.

I had clamoured with my GP for close to two years about changing my painkillers – Pregabalin had caused me to gain almost 80lbs in weight. My clothes had stopped fitting, including my bras. Finding a comfortable bra has always been problematic for me – already with fibromyalgia I felt stifled by the under wires; and in the past year felt them digging their way deeper into my skin. I forked out more money to buy proper, wireless bras that were much better, but still felt very unnatural and uncomfortable.

At work, instead of focusing on working, my mind would be on the nagging pain at my sides, relieved only when I’d dash through my front door on evenings, only to rip my bra off first and foremost so I could breathe! I got fed up of the discomfort.

If only my Ma knew!

Thing is, I never thought I would/could not wear a bra. I mean, if my Ma ever found out! *cheeky grin*

The way I grew up, not just in my family, but in wider society, I understood that bras were there to not only provide ‘support’, but in a sense, hide our nakedness etc. Even if I wanted to not wear a bra, I could never muster up the courage to do it. I’d be too self conscious of ‘printing out,’ showing through my clothing or jiggling up and down when rushing for the train!

But it’s surprising the things that pain and discomfort can make us do!

That was me for almost 30 years and then bam! Just like that, with the increased pain and discomfort and the pressure the bras were placing on my body, I’d had enough. I went googling and was surprised to find that there were nipple covers that one could use repeatedly just like knickers or bras. I had only ever known of the disposable ones which weren’t feasible. I was pleased to say the least when I received my purchase in the post. I absolutely love them! That way, I don’t have to worry about showing or being exposed when I go out while simultaneous basking in the glory of my bra-free, reduced-pain comfort!

The first day I kept my bra off I can only describe the feeling as total liberty. I had some anxiety, admittedly, and I also worried about the missing support and whether it would cause my twins to head south faster. But the worry didn’t last.

I’m too busy enjoying my pain-free, bra-less days in the sun. Who cares about the bras when it’s one less pain to worry over? If you also live with fibromyalgia or any condition where your pain receptors go berserk, I already know, you know what I mean. It would be interesting to see how long I’ll keep this up 🙂

I have to say as well, that going bra-less, even because of fibromyalgia has made me appreciate & love my breasts more, particularly with so many women losing theirs to breast cancer.

How do you cope with bras and fibromyalgia?

Gentle hugs 🙂

 

potofcallaloo
Alisha Nurse is a curry-loving writer & comms professional who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism (International) from the University of Westminster, London. Get in touch with any feedback or questions via the contact form in the 'About' section.

32 thoughts on “Going bra-less…because of fibromyalgia

  1. Thankfully, my symptoms in that way are milder, but I do find underwired bras uncomfortable, so don’t wear them too often. I buy unwired or even the really soft ‘pull-on’ type ones.

    1. I’m so happy for you Alison! I would prefer to wear a bra without underwires but these don’t fit me properly, but I think my bralette (without padding) would go well with the nipple covers for added support or if I needed to wear something comfy underneath. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

      1. So sorry Becky I seem to have missed your comment. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found a solution to the irritating issue! I’m still braless and loving it!

  2. I never knew that fibromyalgia intensified sensations and made them painful! I’m so glad that you found relief from your bra pain.

    I do not suffer from the pain, but bras are just a nuisance. I have small twins so I wouldn’t miss the support, but I didn’t want to be hiding peas down my top every time it got cold! These sound like the perfect solution x

    1. Thanks so much! Haha Lyd re ‘hiding peas’ lolol I totally know what you mean and that’s exactly why I felt I couldn’t not wear a bra esp in the colder months! the nipple covers are really good for that! yeah I mean most women I know also agree that bras are a nuisance. Why do we always have to go through this? corsets? breast binding… bras (rumoured to have been invented by a man! no idea if it’s true or not but I wouldn’t be surprised. Have a go! I think you’d like the nipple covers 🙂 x

  3. I don’t wear one either. Not only does it cause my neck, shoulder, and back muscles to cramp up, it makes me short of breath and also makes me fatigue much faster. I just try to wear shirts that are not too transparent and if one is too revealing I wear some type of camisole or sleeveless shirt underneath. I gave up on wearing a bra in my 20s pretty much as I have literally never been able to tolerate it for more than an hour before I’m in agony. Luckily I don’t have big boobs so it’s not necessary to have support for them.

  4. I don’t go bra-less, but I can see why someone with fibro would. I don’t regularly have allodynia, just when my neuropathy flares, but when I do have it, I don’t want anything touching my skin.

  5. I don’t wear a bra either! I don’t have Fibro but I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and decided that I was in enough pain as it was without having bra pain in the mix as well! I stopped wearing one over a year ago…I don’t think anyone really notices! I occasionally wear a sports bra (in a size up like a previous commenter said, clever 😉 or I wear vest tops if something is see-through! Mostly tho, I don’t care. I’m comfier and if someone has a problem with it, that’s on them!

    Caitlin – Chronically Caitlin

    1. Haha I love this Caitlin! you’re totally right! I spent so much time before worrying that people would notice but they never do and as you rightly pointed out even if they have a problem with it, too bad! haha I’m sorry to hear that you have Hypermobility Syndrome, but glad that you don’t have to worry about the added pressure from wearing a bra! 🙂 x

  6. My skin irritation from my fibro is more in my legs. There are day’s I can’t stand to have anything touching my legs at all. I have a pair of comfy pajama shorts that I keep handy on those days. But if I have to go out, of course, the pants go on. As soon as I’m home, they’re right back off! Glad you found something that works good for you!

    1. Oh that sounds awful Kim! would wearing dresses or skirts be more helpful? for years I never wore dresses but when I forced myself into them, I slowly grew to like them and that really helped esp on days when my itching gets out of control! Do you have any creams you use for the irritation? I used to use one, can’t remember the name now, possibly one related to Benadryl anti-itching? x

    2. Just wanted to send you some love and solidarity. I don’t have fibro but I do have severe complex regional pain syndrome and small/large fiber nerve damage from late state lyme. I struggle to wear shoes and most pants if they are at all tight. I’ve been able to shave my legs twice this year, doing it is excruciating. I am so sorry you deal with a lot of lower body pain too. Hang in there Kim!!

      1. Thank you so much Genevieve! Lots of love and good vibes right back at you. We may not have the same conditions but we struggle all the same. I’m so glad you stopped by. Keep on fighting x

      2. Thank you so much Kim! I’m sorry that things were so tough for you. Nerve damage sounds horrendous! But you’re a fighter so you’ll prevail! Lyme disease sounds awful too! How do you manage? I struggled for a long time with shies and walking but have improved after years of very painful efforts.thanks again fit for sharing my friend 🙂 x

  7. Good for you!! I have no breasts, thanks to breast cancer! But I felt I must wear those darn fake ones issued to me by my insurance company so that I would look “normal”. They are heavy and for a fibro sufferer, uncomfortable. Plus the darn things don’t stay close to your chest, they seem to lean OUT from your chest, announcing to the world that they are fake. So buying blouses is tedious. Not only does the fibro feel worse with the bras, but where the drainage tubes were (yes even after 16 years later) under where the side of the bra goes, has remained tender, making the bra even more uncomfortable. So for the past two years, I too have been going braless. Let me tell you, it feels great!! And I don’t think anyone even notices! Of course I have to be careful what blouses I wear, but I had to do that anyway. I was like you, rip that thing of the minute I hit the door. I even learned how to unhook and remove on the drive home, since I lived in the country and it took 30 minutes to get home!! So GOOD FOR YOU!!

    1. Dearest Barbara, thank you so much for sharing. I’m so sorry that you’ve suffered all this! I feel even worse that you felt you needed to wear the fake breasts to feel ‘normal’ but I totally get why- it’s in huge part due to the society we live in. I have to tell you, growing up and for a long time I was very ashamed of my body – and to a degree I’m still learning to love myself. Hearing your story has really encouraged me more to be thankful. we can take so many things forgranted. I’m just thinking about how much more hassle and discomfort you had to go through because of cancer. You’re amazing! (& obviously skilled! I mean unhooking & removing bra on drive home! when one sees a guy fumbling, trying to unhook a bra, then we remember how hard it really is! lol, seriously you’re amazing!)…and so brave to go braless too! I’m feeling more encouraged (I thought I’d give in and start back at some point- never give myself any credit) but you’ve encouraged me a great deal on this and so many other levels. Thank you my friend! Gentle hugs! 🙂

  8. I also find underwire bras very uncomfortable. Thankfully I am president of the itty bitty titty committee (hahaha) and can easily get away without wearing one, but I have been the most successful with bralettes/sports bras that are a size too big.

  9. I go insane if anything is underneath my bosoms. Nothing with a strap or band can be tolerated. Since I am a plus size woman and cannot stand the heat it is a difficult situation. The only thing I have found that works for me is camishades by edenstreetapparel.

    1. Yes those camishades look very comfortable Linda! I don’t suppose I’ll ever go back to wearing a bra! ☺️

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