Gynecomastia is an increment in the amount of breast tissue in males caused by an instability of estrogen and testosterone hormones, resulting in an enlargement of the breasts. It can involve one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly.
Gynecomastia can be caused by hormone therapy and some chemotherapy medications but will generally go away when treatment is stopped. When it happens, the breasts may be swollen and tender, or the nipples may get sensitive.
Males, be they newborns, boys going through puberty or older men, may have gynecomastia, a sequel to regular changes in hormone levels. In general, the condition is not a serious one, but it can be tough to handle.
Men and boys with gynecomastia occasionally have pain in their breasts and may feel uncomfortable. Though the symptoms may go away, if it persists, considering breast reduction surgery or medication may suffice.
Reasons gynecomastia occurs
This condition can develop for the following reasons;
More than half of newborn males have breast buds or enlarged breasts due to the mother’s estrogen levels. However, they usually go away within a few weeks.
Most teenage boys have some degree of breast enlargement. Fluctuating hormones such as surges and drops in estrogen cause breast tissue to grow. Gynecomastia will disappear as hormone levels balance (it can take about six months to two years to complete).
Men over 50 usually experience enlarged breasts; ageing in men causes their bodies to produce less testosterone. Adult males may also have more body fat, which induces estrogen production and breast tissue growth.
Men with gynecomastia often report no symptoms. Nevertheless, signs and symptoms may comprise;
- Swollen breast tissue
- Nipple sensitivity while rubbing against clothes
- Pain, especially in adolescents
- Breast tenderness
Good to note
Gynecomastia poses no health challenges but can be troubling and cause image-body concerns. If you’re troubled by breast tenderness or enlargement, speak to a doctor.