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9 Reasons To Make Sure You Bind Appropriately And Not Over years and years


Guest Evan_J

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I think I'm almost at the 9 year mark for binding a fairly large chest (I used to be an E cup). No problems so far and nothing indicates that I'll have problems in the near future.

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  • Forum Moderator

Congratulations on that achievement Kieran. You are indeed exceptional. Just as there are people who break medical rules and get away with it-people who smoke for decades-and even promote it because they feel great-but that doesn't mean most people wont eventually pay the price.

In fact since medical advise says you will have damage and much faster and sometimes less reversible than cigarettes you are incredibly fortunate. I ended up with pleuricy (inflammation of the lining of the lungs) after foolishly not thinking a elasticized waist cincher would be bad in just a matter of days. And I was not binding tightly. It just doesn't allow proper expansion. I have read similar tales here and my bones are considered unusually heavy as well as being set. After that long most guys would have developed an un-natural looking chest that prevented rather than help them pass so you are actually doubly fortunate.

It doesn't mean others could get away with it.

Johnny

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Congratulations on that achievement Kieran. You are indeed exceptional. Just as there are people who break medical rules and get away with it-people who smoke for decades-and even promote it because they feel great-but that doesn't mean most people wont eventually pay the price.

In fact since medical advise says you will have damage and much faster and sometimes less reversible than cigarettes you are incredibly fortunate. I ended up with pleuricy (inflammation of the lining of the lungs) after foolishly not thinking a elasticized waist cincher would be bad in just a matter of days. And I was not binding tightly. It just doesn't allow proper expansion. I have read similar tales here and my bones are considered unusually heavy as well as being set. After that long most guys would have developed an un-natural looking chest that prevented rather than help them pass so you are actually doubly fortunate.

It doesn't mean others could get away with it.

Johnny

I just think it's just as damaging to tell people "all these bad things will happen to you" when it's not true. I've worn underworks binders (997) for 8 years without trouble. I don't intend on getting top surgery because I kinda like my body and I won't be able to afford it. Some binders are a little tighter than a sports bra, and it's not like sports bras being worn regularly is against medical advice.

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  • Forum Moderator

Not going to get into an argument over this. Facts are facts and if you do the research you will find Drs DO strongly caution against wearing tight sports bras for any length of time or over several days at a time. There is research that links chest restriction from tight bras to an increased risk of breast cancer as well. Bit don't take my word for it-do the research on reputable medical web sites.

We cannot condone encouraging people to do things that are proven to cause harm-and if you read through all the threads or do research on the net you'll find plenty of information to back it up.

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  • 7 months later...
Guest SamIThinkIAm

Time to add my piece on this.

I only bound (was wearing one of the underworks binder) for about 2 years or so, and had periods of time where I'd be wearing bras.

I was also an idiot and yes, sometimes slept in my binders....serves me right for drug and alcohol use.

Got tired of not being able to breathe and move properly.

I developed (in theory) benign tumours all over my chest area and still have a sore chest to this day. My lung capacity was poor.

I've been relatively bra/binder-free (once in a blue moon I'll wear something) for about two years, and while better I am not out of the woods yet.

Bras and binders are damaging and risky IMO....sure I'd like to bind again to get rid of these DDD's but I just can't do that to my health.

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Guest Plaid Chameleon

It's funny, I'd never end heard of a binder until last year. Someone actually gave me one, and before I did anything I looked up the health risks, scared me so bad I won't wear one. While I hate my body, I value my life. I use a tight vest that opens toward the bottom and does not restrict movement or breathing. It's sticky sometimes when it's hot and when it gets wrinkly I have to layer my shirts but it works like a charm. My only fear is that it'll eventually fall apart...I wear it every day. I tried the underarmour idea that Johnny suggested and I don't know...maybe I'm doing it wrong? It looked god awful. It was like...hrm...well this makes me look worse not better. I'm not big, I don't even think they classify me as a size...but I tried on some of the young adults under armour shirts at a sports store and it looked horrid. Do you have to be laying down for it to work properly? Am I missing something? Are there any ways to do this other then a binder that won't send me to the ER?

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Don't know exactly what the problem was for sure but they do look bad by themselves. They fit like a second skin-especially when you get them a little snug to bind. I always wear two as well-that seems to really make a difference. But I never ever would wear one alone. I wear a shirt or tee over them. They won't flatten completely-nothing safe will-but they do flatten enough for a natural look and no one has ever questioned my gender because of my chest. In fact haven't been misgendered in person for something like 2 years now.

Johnny

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  • 2 months later...

I just read this entire topic, and really appreciate all the info, as I am just beginning my FT? journey and had been considering binding to get the look I want. I'm lucky to have smallish...um, chest things, and my old running bras from my years as a marathoner work pretty well at flattening me out--good enough for me to be read as male, at least by a couple of people, when wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and a baseball cap (yay!! :thumbsup: ). I did order one binder, but there's no way I would be able to get *out* of it even if I could wriggle myself into it. And I'm claustrophobic as well, so it just doesn't seem like a good idea to try. I'll stick with my old stretched-out jog bras.

Again, thanks to all of you guys for all the info!

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Guest MostlySwell

Wow. So glad to see all the advice. I tried binding the first time on Sunday. C cup does not bind well with my ACE wraps. Interestingly, telling my primary care provider about this on Tuesday is what got the ball rolling for me to get on the waiting list for evaluation for transitioning. Anyway, just ordered an underworks binder today. I hope it fits ok. I followed their sizing instructions (average of circumference of breasts and circumference just below.

I'm at home a lot, so I plan to wear the binder and packing at home to get used to it, then in public. Good to know to start with short time, though I'm anxious to go all day.

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Guest Chaoticperfection

I always get a little worried when I bind. Mostly because I did it improperly for two years, ace bandages on a dd chest, sports bras two sizes too small wearing two at a time, sometimes even with ace bandages over them. Breathing? When I binded like that, was nearly impossible. Breathes were short and shallow. It was crazy hard to move or breathe much. I know bind correctly. I have had to come to terms that I will not get as flat as I want to get. I am a pretty small guy in structure too, and I have a big chest.. But now that I do bind correctly, I am much more comfortable. I wish I would have cared about all those risks when I was not doing things even remotely right. I try to give myself time off from binding. But if I am feeling rather dysphoric or if I have company I have to bind. Thanks for posting this.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest MostlySwell

I understand that binding can be bad for you and to use it sparingly. I haven't found info on how to know what I'm using is *not* too much, if that makes sense. I'm gong by the sizing Underworks provides and have the appropriate size. I wear it for a few hours, really rarely more than that, and f so, then still, not more then 5 or 6 hours tops. I started attending a transman group locally and mentioned that I'd like to discuss binding at some point, because I find it constrictive an uncomfortable. The immediate response of a cacophony of "you're doing too much." We didn't have time to elaborate more at that time, but it seemed like folks were overreacting, or reading more into my discomfort than I actually have. I'm a pretty cautious person. My bra size was 36C. The binder I have is medium, appropriate for my measurements--and doesn't result in a uniboob, if I splay my boobs out after I put the thing on. Anyway, I'm in a marching band and have worn my binder while marching in the heat. It was restrictive, but not so much that I can't march and play cymbals. It's definitely a relief when I take the binder off. Should they be so loose that it makes no difference?

These things are all mail order--and I had already ordered two more mediums. They arrived today. Now I don't know whether to send them back and order larges--or just continue as I'm doing, being cautious and not wearing them anymore than I need to. I'd like to just crack open these packages and forget about further shopping. Any words on this?

Of note, I have an appointment for consultation for top surgery either next week, if they have a cancellation, or at the latest 7/15--leaving me to schedule the surgery by the end of the year, hopefully by the end of October. (That's how far the surgeon is scheduling out, right now.) Maybe with that in mind, just proceeding as I have been is fine. No tot be disrespectful of these guys in the group--but to clarify that maybe I sounded more in distress than I actually am.

I know y'all can't tell me what to do--but maybe you can comment on what I'm describing and say whether it concerns you or not? I feel like I'm being all wishy-washy about this.

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it doesn't sound to me like you're going overboard. A lot of guys tend to downplay things, so the group experience might be that complaints are all along the lines of Jim Henson commenting that he has a cold days before he dies of pneumonia, yk?

It doesn't sound like you're being unreasonable about it. I only wear compression shirts, and I find it uncomfortable too.

With surgery on a clear horizon for you, you're probably fine. If wearing it makes you ill, or causes difficulty breathing with activity, those are the big signs that something is wrong.

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Guest MostlySwell

Thx Ravin. I wondered if the strong reaction from the group without clarifying anything with me had to do with our collective history of going overboard, especially at the start. I'll stay cool and relaxed with them and take in any advice offered next week--rather than outright rejecting and saying "you don't understand" or "you're jumping to conclusions too fast." And, then, of course, continue with my own cautionary approach. I know people in our community want to be helpful and I am very grateful for that.

I'm taking a finance class on Coursera and the professor repeatedly says that any answer we derive from the formulas is automatically incorrect, because we can't predict the future. The formulas are always to be seen as tools to guide us toward our best guess and never "accurate" when dealing with expectations of future results. I think that's the best take home lesson anyone has ever taught me.

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Guest Micki

This was all so very helpful. I'm a huge chested guy & after realizing (no offense to anyone) that most of you are smaller guys & still have trouble, I don't see binding in my future. I'm a 46 ddd... grrrr! I hate looking at them & I wear sports bras but these things are so freakin heavy, they stretch the bras out very quickly. Of course I haven't come out as a transguy to anyone other than myself & one of my friends. Unfortunately, I would inevitably fear for my life given where I live. But knowing all this info on binding, I certainly won't attempt to try it. Plus I'm broke anyway :-D so it surely wouldn't of happened very soon.

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Guest ashleynikole

Hey Micki,

I'm going the other direction from you and would love if you could just transplant yours on me. :Crylol:

However, on a serious note, if you have medical insurance, perhaps you could talk to your doctor about a breast reduction surgery. Insurance will most likely cover it if it's harmful to your health (ie. your back and muscles). If you don't and you're too poor, do you qualify for Medicaid? I don't really know but if you can't get rid of them completely, perhaps you could reduce them enough to bind properly. Just a thought.

God bless

Ashley

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Guest Micki

Hey Ashley, I would gladly donate however much you want! I don't qualify for Medicaid & I'm starting a brand new job Tuesday! Not quite sure what the insurance there will cover but I have thought about checking into that. I constantly have neck & back pain & I'm tired of it! If I could get down to a b cup @ least maybe I could try the pantyhose or bike shorts thing or even the compression shirts. I'm overweight to & I carry my weight in the whole middle part of my body. From what I've read & researched the big belly will cause problems with binders as well?! I'm trying to be patient but it's aggravating!

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Guest typoAdventure

I've seen a lot of suggestions on sports bras.

I've been binding for a year or two, gradually increasing and trying new methods. The best binding I've tried so far has been a sports bra that fits underneath a nylon workout shirt. The nylon is important, because it allows whatever you're wearing on top to drape properly - it won't cling if the material isn't cotton.

I also have several sports bras that are a size too small for me. They are rather uncomfortable, and feel almost exactly like Ace bandages felt, only without the slipping. I think if Underworks binders and just bras in general can have health risks, than sports bras are definitely not without risks. I would recommend not wearing anything to bed and never wearing a sports bra that is too small. But first and foremost, I want to draw your attention to wearing a sports undershirt that isn't cotton - cotton clings, and even if you're binding, it will look like you aren't. (Or at least it does for me.) Again, I get mine from Academy in the men's section, and wear it in addition to gentle binding.

My favorite kind:

http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/adidas-men-s-climacore-short-sleeve-t-shirt/pid-1041324?color=Solar+Blue%2fDark+Onyx&N=628476043+4294955976

Department:

http://www.academy.com/shop/browse/apparel-men-s-apparel-men-s-shirts-t-shirts/athletic-performance/_/N-628476043+4294955976

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  • Forum Moderator

Welcome to Laura's Typo. Thank you for sharing you information. You might want to post in the introduction forum and meet more folks.

Hugs,

Charlize

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Glitterpup

i just got my first binder in the mail a few days ago thank you for this info ;-; its kinda daunting but thats good i will make sure to set a timer or something. thank you for all this info!!!

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...
On 8/12/2009 at 11:10 PM, Guest Evan_J said:

It has been common when the topic of binding is first introduced to a transgendered male (or sometimes to an androgynous person should they be interested in the process) to ask or be asked "what possible dangers are there in doing this. "

By and large the main problems that many of us have cited or cautioned against have been not to bind too tightly or for more than roughly 9 hours consecutively because of the risk of pain, constricted breathing , and the posibility of developing pneumonia because of the constriction.

Until now.

Very recently, (two nights ago) I had the opportunity to hear (and most of these were first hand from fellas who unfortunately developed these problems) a much more detailed and extensive list of possible dangers . I'm sorry , but when I know about it you know about it. Esp if I think it may help any of you not have these problems. Some of these were rather serious. And I would feel wrong to hear it and not share it.

These primarily result from improper binding (ace bandages, neophrene back braces, other items not intended to compress the ribs and lungs) and long term binding (not just number of consecutive hours, but binding over the course of years).

These perhaps should ESPECIALLY be taken into consideration by teen transmen who's bones are not finished developing and are not completely hardened. If your mother took a pair of scissors to your binder, she might have had a reason.....

 

  • bruising and fracturing of ribs
  • pulmonary (lung ) problems
  • small vessel damge and tissue injury
  • back issues
  • low blood flow to the heart resulting in a mild heart attack
  • decreased lung compacity (lungs only functioning to 30 and 40 %)
  • binding, according to one doctor tends to throw clots out and in turn can be yet another (in addition to that low blood flow) cause of heart attacks
  • Costochondritis -an Inflamation of the ribs. The person who developed this condition also stated that after 6 years of binding his chest is completly deformed (the ribs are compressed into his lungs) and his doctor has great fear from the pockets of muscles that have shifted. (he only used underworks binders)
  • cut of the blood flow through the lymph-nodes in the breast area. This could cause clots, damage to your circulation and lead to lymphatic cancer due to the bacteria build up and clogging of the lymph-nodes. There have been reports about clots, blood clots and lack or circulation causing numbness and permanent loss of sensation in the breast/chest area

 

Wow! This is scary! I'm at the beginning of my transition and was getting ready to purchase my first binder from underworks. Do you suggest that binding isn't a good idea at all? These all seem like very service side effects and I'm afraid to bind at all. Does chest size have anything to do with the side effects?

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2 hours ago, KC said:

Do you suggest that binding isn't a good idea at all?

 

If you look at the previous posts on this, @JJ who is one of our current moderators has some good sense ways to overcome some of the dysphoria without the binding that can easily be a health threat.  I am hoping he will show up to give you the EXPERT slant on that. 

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On 11/23/2018 at 4:25 PM, VickySGV said:

 

If you look at the previous posts on this, @JJ who is one of our current moderators has some good sense ways to overcome some of the dysphoria without the binding that can easily be a health threat.  I am hoping he will show up to give you the EXPERT slant on that. 

Thank you for the response. I believe this was an old Post but I am new to the site and to the community and I'm just starting to get the hang of navigating my way through it. There is a lot of good information here! You all are great!

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  • 3 years later...

Can you do some sort of harm reduction if you bind for years , the reason am I asking i am unsure if i can have Surgery due to the fact ill not  get approved for it?

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