Why Do I Have Breasts? I’m a Man.
Breasts are typically associated with femininity and womanhood. So, it can be quite distressing for a man to notice breast development in himself. Gynaecomastia or Male Boobs is more common than you might think affecting up to 70% of boys during puberty and a significant number of adult men
In this article, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and treatments for gynecomastia.
What is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is a condition characterized by the enlargement of breast gland tissue in males. It can affect one or both breasts and is caused by an imbalance of hormones, specifically estrogen and testosterone. It’s important to remember that gynecomastia is not a sign of weakness or a lack of masculinity. It’s a medical condition that can occur due to various reasons, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Causes of Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia is primarily caused by an imbalance in the hormones estrogen and testosterone. While both hormones are present in all humans, men typically have higher levels of testosterone. However, if the balance shifts and estrogen levels become relatively high, it can lead to the development of breast tissue.
Sometimes it can occur due to natural hormone changes. For instance, new-borns, boys going through puberty, and older men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in their hormone levels. However, other causes also exist including;
- Medications: cause gynecomastia, including anti-androgens used to treat an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, and other conditions; anabolic steroids and androgens; AIDS medications; anti-anxiety medications; certain heart medications.
- Health Conditionsaffecting: the thyroid gland, kidney failure, liver disease, and tumorsmay affect hormonal balance.
- Substance Use: Alcohol, marijuana, and certain illicit drugs can also disrupt hormone levels and lead to gynecomastia.
Symptoms Associated with Gynecomastia
Most adult men with gynecomastia report no symptoms. However, signs and symptoms of the condition may include pain, particularly in adolescents, swollen breast tissue, breast tenderness, and nipple sensitivity.
Treatment for Gynecomastia
Treatment for gynecomastia depends on the underlying cause. If a medication or other substance is causing the enlargement, you may need to stop using the drug or switch to a different one. If a disease is the cause, the swelling should go away with disease treatment.
In cases where gynecomastia is severe and of recent onset, medical therapy can be attempted. If this is ineffective, glandular tissue can be removed surgically.
Gynecomastia is a common condition that can affect men of all ages and can be a challenging condition to live with. While it can be embarrassing, it’s important to see your doctor to determine the underlying cause and discuss your treatment options.
At Hisential, we believe in empowering men with the knowledge they need to take control of their health. Remember, every man’s body is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all definition of masculinity. Stay healthy, stay informed, and remember – you’re not alone in this.
- Costanzo PR, Pacenza NA, Aszpis SM, et al. Clinical and Etiological Aspects of Gynecomastia in Adult Males: A Multicenter Study. Biomed Res Int. 2018;2018:8364824. doi:10.1155/2018/8364824.
- Sollie M. Management of gynecomastia-changes in psychological aspects after surgery-a systematic review. Gland Surg. 2018;7(4):399-406. doi:10.21037/gs.2018.03.09.