gynaecomastia causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


Most of the men are uncomfortable taking their shirts off in public, even in a closed room filled with Men, as gynecomastia, which is commonly known as “Man Boobs,” may be the reason for it.


It is a condition in which the breast tissue in males swells and becomes enlarged. Nearly 20% of the male population suffers. Though it occurs with no physical pain, it can be harmful as it creates a bad self-image and insecurity related to their bodies in men. This physical insecurity leads to a loss of confidence and may have a lasting impact on their mental health.

But don’t worry, it is not an incurable condition. Most of the time, after understanding its causes and symptoms and getting it diagnosed, we can go for different treatment options depending on the cause.

Table of Contents

Causes leading to Gynecomastia

It is most often caused by hormonal changes, genetics, obesity, certain medications, and recreational drugs. In particular cases, it occurs because of cancer and Klinefelter syndrome, a condition where male babies are born with extra X chromosomes.

1. Hormonal Imbalance

Men and Women both have testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone is typically higher in Men, and high levels of estrogen are seen in Women. During the growth phase, babies and young boys may develop gynecomastia because of hormonal changes. Most of the time, it resolves on its own in about 6–24 months.

Swollen breasts can also occur in males approaching old age. At 50-60 years of age, when testosterone level is lower and high body fat than younger age, it contributes to a higher amount of estrogen; this factor combined leads to breast enlargement

2. Disorder and Disease

Many diseases and disorders may lead to Gynecomastia. The most common are:

3. Medications

Many medications consumed can lead to this condition, some of which are mentioned below:

4. Recreational Drugs and Alcohol

Recreational drugs are taken for the enjoyment of their Psychoactive nature, and together with being addictive and harming our whole body, some of these drugs can lead to


Gynecomastia symptoms

Most of the time, gynecomastia in men occurs without any symptoms. Though the condition is rare, sometimes it comes with signs like:

Gynecomastia Diagnosis

During the Gynecomastia diagnosis, the doctor will ask questions about the symptoms, medical and drug history, and family history. The doctor may also do a physical examination of the breast tissue, abdomen, and genitals.

If the cause turns out to be hormone imbalance, the condition may resolve on its own. But if the lump in the breast is one-sided, large, and tender, a blood test is done to ensure there is no cancer.

The doctor recommends taking other tests to make sure that the patient isn’t suffering from:

These diagnoses are done to check whether it’s a condition of Pseudogynecomastia, which is different from gynecomastia in the sense that in the case of pseudo gynecomastia, the enlargement of the breasts is the result of fat deposition, whereas, in the case of gynecomastia, the swelling of breast tissue takes place in men.

While talking about any complications that might result from this, we don’t have anything important to mention. The most impactful effect is its psychological effect on the mind by lowering a person’s self-esteem and self-love.

If you are embarrassed about this condition, don’t worry; it is a very common disorder, and it gets better with time. If needed, patients should consult a therapist and learn how to accept and respect the body as it is.

Cures for solving Gynecomastia

Depending on the cause, treatment may vary, as the treatment of the cause can cure the disease. So, the treatments available are:

Healing Naturally

As discussed before, during their growing years, young adults go through frequent changes in the level of hormones, which can lead to this state. It also gets healed naturally, making it not a condition but a part of growth.


When this condition is painful or causes discomfort, a doctor may prescribe a three- or six-month course of an antiestrogen drug called tamoxifen or Evista (raloxifene). It is most often prescribed to teenagers.

It is also an effective treatment for men who have been suffering for just a year. Testosterone replacement therapy is given to older men to increase the level of Testosterone in this treatment. Gynecomastia medication causes, such as certain antipsychotics or hormone treatments, can sometimes lead to the development of breast tissue in men as a side effect.

Surgical Treatments

Liposuction is performed to remove excess fatty tissues by inserting a small tube via an incision. Excess glandular tissue is removed by excision, which involves cutting out tissue with a scalpel to reduce the issue of Man Boobs. During major surgery, the incision and scar will be larger.

It takes about five to six weeks for people to return to a normal routine. Complications after surgery are rare, though they may include inadequate breast tissue removal, rough chest contour, and no or less sensation on nipples.


As it is not a very serious illness, no need to worry. There are many underlying causes for this, which can be diagnosed by checking the symptoms. Depending on the symptoms, suitable treatment can be suggested.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is safer from the age of 13, depending on the severity.

It can reduce excess fat deposited in the chest region but has no effect on dense glandular tissue caused by this state.

It can occur in adolescents due to hormonal changes.

Yes, it may be seen in one or both breasts.