Gynaecomastia (sometimes referred to as "man boobs") is a common condition that leads to boys' and men's breasts to swell and become larger than normal. It is most common in teenage boys and more mature men.

What are the signs of gynaecomastia?

Signs differ from a smaller amount of extra cells around the nipples to more prominent breasts. It can affect one or both breasts.

Sometimes, the breast tissue can be tender or painful, but this isn't always the case.

The causes of gynaecomastia?

Junk imbalance

Gynaecomastia can be caused by an disproportion between the sex bodily hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Oestrogen causes breast tissue growing. While all men produce some oestrogen, they usually have much higher levels of testosterone, which prevents the oestrogen from triggering breast tissue to grow.

If the balance of human hormones in your body changes, this can cause a man's bosoms to grow. Sometimes, the main cause of this imbalance is unknown.


Being very obese (obese) is a common cause of gynaecomastia ~ this is because being overweight can increase levels of oestrogen, which can cause breast tissue growing. If you're overweight you're also more likely to have excess fat that can enlarge the breast growth. For a lot of people shedding pounds or doing more exercise can help but this might not exactly always increase the condition.

Newborn boys

Gynaecomastia can influence baby boys, because excess estrogen passes through the parias from the mother to the baby. This is short-term and will disappear 2-3 weeks after the baby is born.

Growing up

During growing up, boys' hormone levels vary. When the level of androgenic hormone or testosterone drops, oestrogen can cause breast tissue to increase. Many teenage boys have some degree of breast enhancement. Gynaecomastia at puberty usually clears up as boys grow older and their junk levels become more secure.

Older age

As men get older, they produce less testosterone. Older men also generally have more body fat, and this can cause more oestrogen to be produced. These within hormone levels can business lead to excess breast growth development.

Other causes

Other unusual causes of gynaecomastia include:

side effects of medication – such as anti-ulcer drugs or medicine for heart disease

illegal drugs : such as cannabis or steroids

drinking too much alcoholic beverages

a health condition – such as renal failure or liver disease

Klinefelter syndrome (a rare innate disorder)

lumps or illness in the testicles

Remedy for gynaecomastia

View a GP if you're worried about breast growth growth – they can discuss the treatment options together with you.

If a GP thinks you will need treatment, they may recommend:

surgery to remove the extra breast tissue

medication to change a hormone discrepancy

Read more about man breast reduction surgery.

Procedures such as breast lowering surgery are not usually available on the NHS, unless there is a clear medical need for them. For example , if you've had gynaecomastia for a long period, it hasn't responded to other treatments and it's triggering you of distress or pain a GP may refer you to a plastic surgeon to discuss the likelihood of surgery.

Usually see a GP if the area is very painful or there's an apparent lump. Sometimes, the lump may need to be removed. Gynaecomastia isn't very related to breast cancer, but you should see a GP if you're anxious about breast swelling.

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