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Gynaecomastia is a fairly common condition that causes boys’ and men’s breasts to swell and become larger.

Emotional burden for affected males

The condition is more common in teenage boys and older men and can affect one or both breasts. Gynaecomastia occurs when there is an imbalance between the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. The cause of the imbalance is not always clear.

Many factors can cause a hormone imbalance, such as 
  • Being overweight can cause an increase in oestrogen which is the cause of breast tissue to grow.
  • Puberty causes hormone levels to become unstable however these levels settle down over time.
  • Older men produce less testosterone and tend to have more body fat which can increase the amount of oestrogen produced.
Treatment for gynaecomastia can include medication to adjust a hormone imbalance or surgery to remove the excess breast tissue, however surgery is not usually available on the NHS unless there is a clear medical need for it.

More information