Gynecomastia is a condition that causes the breast tissue in males to become enlarged. This condition can occur at any age and can be a source of embarrassment and self-consciousness. In this article, we will discuss what gynecomastia is, the different causes of the condition, the symptoms and signs to look out for, and the available treatments.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition that affects males of all ages, from newborns to elderly men. The condition is characterized by the enlargement of the breast tissue in males. This can cause the breasts to become tender, swollen, and even painful. Gynecomastia can occur in one or both breasts and can affect men of any age, although it is most common in adolescent and older men.

Causes of Gynecomastia

There are many different causes of gynecomastia, including:

Hormonal Imbalances

One of the most common causes of gynecomastia is hormonal imbalances. Specifically, an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen levels can cause breast tissue to grow. This is often seen in adolescent boys who are going through puberty or in older men whose testosterone levels are declining.


Certain medications can also cause gynecomastia as a side effect. These medications include anti-androgens used to treat prostate cancer, anabolic steroids, and some medications used to treat depression and anxiety.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can also cause gynecomastia. These conditions include liver disease, kidney disease, and tumors of the testicles or adrenal glands.

Symptoms and Signs of Gynecomastia

The most obvious symptom of gynecomastia is the enlargement of the breast tissue in males. Other symptoms can include:

Tenderness or pain in the breast area

Swelling or discharge from the nipples

Firm or rubbery breast tissue

Asymmetrical breasts

It is important to note that gynecomastia is different from male breast cancer, which is a rare condition that can also cause breast enlargement in men. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Treatments for Gynecomastia

There are several treatments available for gynecomastia, depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Some of these treatments include:

Lifestyle Changes

In some cases, gynecomastia can be treated with simple lifestyle changes. For example, losing weight, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption can help to reduce breast tissue growth in some cases.


In severe cases of gynecomastia, surgery may be necessary to remove the excess breast tissue. This procedure, known as a mastectomy or reduction mammoplasty, involves the removal of the excess tissue and may be performed with liposuction.