What are the causes of Gynecomastia?

Updated at: Nov 29, 2014
What are the causes of Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is the inflammation of the breast tissue in the men or boys. It is caused by the imbalance of the estrogen and testosterone hormones

Meenakshi Chaudhary
Men's HealthWritten by: Meenakshi ChaudharyPublished at: Feb 15, 2012

Gynecomastia is the inflammation of the breast tissue in the men or boys. It is caused by the imbalance of the estrogen and testosterone hormones. It can occur in one or both the breasts.  Although, it isn’t a serious condition but it can be quite tough to cope with. 



signs and symptoms of gynecomastia include
Swollen breast gland tissue
breast tenderness
Pain in the breast


It can be triggered by low levels of testosterone. Things that can upset the hormone balance include :

Natural hormone changes

The development of sex characteristics in both men and women are maintained and controlled by testosterone and estrogen hormones. Testosterone controls the male traits while estrogen controls the female breasts.  Even male produce estrogen but when the estrogen levels are high or are out of balance with testosterone levels, it could lead to  gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia in Infants:

Half of the new born with enlarged breast due to the effect of estrogen on their mothers.

Gynecomastia During Puberty :

Hormonal changes during puberty can also lead to gynecomastia. However, the swollen breast tissue will go away on its own in six months to two years without treatment.

Gynecomastia in men :

Gynecomastia is common between the ages of 50 and 80.



Medications which can lead to gynecomastia include

  • anti-androgens used to treat prostate enlargement, prostate cancer and other conditions.
  • anabolic steroids and androgens.
  • AIDS medication
  • anti- anxiety medications
  • antibiotics
  • chemotherapy


Health conditions

Health conditions which can lead to gynceosmastia include
Hypoganadism, aging, tumours, hypothyroidism, Kidney failure, liver and cirrhosis.


Image Courtesy: Getty

Read more articles on Gynecosmastia Causes and Risks


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