Breast Development in Men (Gynecomastia): Causes

Gynecomastia is the medical term for a generally benign development of the mammary gland of the male to the female type. An increase in mammary glands (and not excess fatty tissue) is the cause. Enlarged breasts in men are usually harmless, but may lead to psychological and emotional problems for some men. Breast development in the man is possible on one breast or both breasts (usually on both breasts). Also the breast augmentation does not have to be symmetrical. For example, the one breast may be larger than the other breast. Various hormonal and medical reasons cause gynecomastia. Best Gynecomastia Pills

Synonyms Gynecomastia, Larger Breast or Breasts

Gynecomastia is also known under these synonyms:

breast development in the man



male breast augmentation

male breast development

male breasts


In adult men, growth of breast tissue is caused by various medical conditions including chronic liver disease ( cirrhosis ), renal failure (reduced or absent kidney function) and dialysis, low testosterone levels and some rare conditions such as genetic defects ( Klinefelter syndrome ), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and tumors (especially the adrenals, testes and pituitary glands). In men, the man often has a unilateral breast growth and a hard, strong lump develops in the chest . The skin is also painful around the breast and finally a bloody discharge from the nipple (nipple discharge )). Finally, malnutrition and hunger also lead to gynaecomastia because the testosterone level decreases, but the estrogen level remains stable.

Medicines or Medical Treatments

Some medications and treatments cause breast growth in men. These include: anabolic steroids , anti- anxiety drugs (diazepam, valium), certain antibiotics , antifungal agents , radiation therapy to the testicles, heartburn and drugs against ulcers, chemotherapy for cancer , certain heart medications, drugs for the treatment of HIV infection , hormone drugs for the treatment of prostate cancer or prostatic hyperplasia, herbs (lavender, tea tree oil, and dong quai), tricyclic antidepressants and certain dietary supplements.

Hormonal changes in Men

Normal hormonal changes are the most common cause of breast development in newborns, boys and men. An imbalance of estrogen (female hormone) and testosterone (male hormone) easily results in gynecomastia. In men, both hormones are present in the body. Some conditions result in enlarged breasts in men. Sometimes changes occur in the number of hormones, causing the man to develop gynecomastia. It is also possible that the body uses these hormones differently or that the body responds differently to these hormones, resulting in enlarged breasts in men.


The neonate receives gynecomastia through exposure to estrogen from the mother. More than half of the young babies are born in the world with enlarged breasts. These usually disappear within three to four weeks after birth. In some babies it takes even six months or even longer. Some newborns have breast development together with a milky secretion ( galactorrhoea ). This condition usually lasts a few weeks, but in rare cases the symptoms last until the child is two years old.


In teenagers, breast growth results from normal hormonal changes that occur in puberty. Fifty to seventy percent of boys develop breasts during puberty. Also this breast growth usually disappears within about six months to two years.


In men, hormonal changes happen as a result of aging which possibly leads to breast development. This is more common in overweight men and in about one in four men who are fifty years and older.

Diagnosis of the causes of breast enlargement in men

Physical Examination

Gynecomastia can be observed clinically by the doctor. He also notes that there may be blood or a discharge from the chest, the chest is sensitive or painful, and so on.

Diagnostic Research

In most cases, no examinations are necessary, but certain conditions can be ruled out by a blood test, an ultrasound scan of the breast, a liver examination , a kidney function examination and a mammography ( radiographic examination of the breast). Other additional tests for a possible (underlying) condition include a CT scan , an MRI scan, an ultrasound of the testes (testicles) or liver and a tissue biopsy.

Differential diagnosis

The doctor confuses the diagnosis of gynecomastia with these disorders: a lymphoma , hypogonadism (insufficient development of gonads), a dermoid cyst, breast cancer , fatty breast tissue and a breast abscess .

Treatment of breast growth or breast development in men

Often a treatment is not required because breast growth disappears spontaneously in newborns and adolescents. Pain relief and cold packs reduce pain. Of course, the doctor will treat a possible (underlying) medical condition. He also examines the current use of medication and the possible abuse of alcohol or drugs by the patient. With this information, the doctor is able to prepare a customized medication and treatment schedule for the patient. In any case, the patient may not start experimenting with stopping medication, but discuss this thoroughly with the doctor. Occasionally a hormone treatment is required that blocks the functioning of estrogen, and in rare cases a breast reduction (surgical procedure) is required. This happens especially if the breast growth is extreme,

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