Gynaecomastia (sometimes referred to as “man boobs”) is a common condition that causes boys’ and men’s breasts to swell and become larger than normal. It is most common in teenage boys and older men.
What causes gynaecomastia?
Gynaecomastia can have several causes.
- Hormone imbalance
Gynaecomastia can be caused by an imbalance between the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Oestrogen causes breast tissue to grow. While all men produce some oestrogen, they usually have much higher levels of testosterone, which stops the oestrogen from causing breast tissue to grow.
If the balance of hormones in the body changes, this can cause a man’s breasts to grow. Sometimes, the cause of this imbalance is unknown.
Some growth in breast tissue is not due to extra body fat from being overweight, so losing weight or doing more exercise may not improve the condition. However, a common reason for gynaecomastia is that being very overweight (obese) can increase levels of oestrogen, which can cause breast tissue to grow.
- Newborn baby boys
Gynaecomastia can affect newborn baby boys, because oestrogen passes through the placenta from the mother to the baby. This is temporary and will disappear a few weeks after the baby is born.
During puberty, boys’ hormone levels vary. If the level of testosterone drops, oestrogen can cause breast tissue to grow. Many teenage boys have some degree of breast enlargement. Gynaecomastia at puberty usually clears up as boys get older and their hormone levels become more stable.
- Older age
As men get older, they produce less testosterone. Older men also tend to have more body fat, and this can cause more oestrogen to be produced. These changes in hormone levels can lead to excess breast tissue growth.
- Other causes
In rare cases, gynaecomastia can be caused by:
- side effects of medication – such as anti-ulcer drugs or medication for heart disease
- illegal drugs – such as cannabis or anabolic steroids
- drinking too much alcohol
- a health abnormality – such as kidney failure or liver disease
- Klinefelter’s syndrome (a rare genetic disorder)
- lumps or infection in the testicles
Treatment for gynaecomastia
If you’re worried about breast tissue growth, see your GP.
If your GP thinks treatment is needed, there are two types of treatment for gynaecomastia:
- surgery to remove the excess breast tissue
- medication to adjust a hormone imbalance
If the surgery is the choice of treatment then you may need to consider a post surgical garment to help with you healing.
The Gynaefix vest is a cropped male compression vest with centre-fastening adjustable frontal eye hook fastenings. The garment is sleeveless and is ideal for use as a slimming aid, post moob reduction and after liposculpture of the chest. All seams are outward facing ensuring no contact with incision areas.
Post gynecomastia, chest binding, FTM, slimming & body shaping.
You can find the Gynaefix vest here.