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Is Gynecomastia Painful?


October 11, 2018

Men and women have both testosterone (the male sex hormone) and estrogen (the female sex hormone) in their bodies. However, males typically have far more testosterone than estrogen (with females typically having more estrogen). When a boy’s hormone levels change, either due to puberty or an underlying condition, it’s possible for his estrogen levels to rise. When this happens, he can develop breasts — a condition known as gynecomastia.

What is Gynecomastia?

Commonly known as “male breasts,” gynecomastia is the swelling of breast tissue in boys and men. Though it’s most often caused by a hormone imbalance, there are a number of different conditions that can cause an influx of estrogen.

Is Gynecomastia Painful?

Though men can experience tender breasts or nipple discharge, gynecomastia typically isn’t painful. While it may not be a physically debilitating condition, that’s not to say that gynecomastia doesn’t come with a unique set of challenges.   

The Emotional Toll of Gynecomastia

For most men, the pain of gynecomastia is emotional and psychological. Enlarged breasts can cause males, especially those going through puberty, to feel uncomfortable in their body, embarrassed, and ashamed. Even mild gynecomastia can have a serious impact on a man’s mental health.

Are You Making Your Gynecomastia Worse?

If gynecomastia doesn’t go away on its own after puberty, it’s likely going to be a lifelong condition, as diet and exercise alone can’t eliminate breast tissue. Most often, surgery is the best way to completely get rid of male breasts.

While positive lifestyle changes likely won’t get rid of your breasts entirely, negative choices can exacerbate your condition and enlarge your breasts. Keep your gynecomastia from getting worse by:

  • Never using illegal drugs, specifically heroin, marijuana, and steroids.
  • Avoiding alcohol completely or only drinking infrequently.
  • Avoiding medications that list gynecomastia as a side effect.

If you have any questions about gynecomastia, visit us on the web or give us a call at (212) 344-0496!


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