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Why is Gynecomastia on the Rise?


November 12, 2018

Gynecomastia is a condition found in men that causes one or both breasts to swell. For many years, healthcare professionals have witnessed gynecomastia, but it seems to have become more common in recent years. So the question has to be asked — is it actually more common now or are men just now starting to speak openly about it?

The Emotional Effects of Gynecomastia

Though gynecomastia can cause swelling and breast tenderness, it’s not typically a painful condition. It is, however, emotionally taxing on men, as almost no man wants to have breasts. Because they’re ashamed of their breasts (and many don’t even realize that it’s a medical condition causing their enlarged chest) most men simply cover their chest and don’t talk about it.

But in recent years, more and more men have been vocal about their struggles with gynecomastia and why they chose to (or to not) have their breasts surgically removed. This could be why it’s only appearing as though gynecomastia is more prevalent now than it was, say, 50 years ago.

Causes of Gynecomastia

All gynecomastia is caused by an underlying hormone imbalance, however, there are a number of different things that can cause the imbalance.


Did you know that roughly half of all baby boys have gynecomastia? This is because their mother’s estrogen is still running through them. Most baby’s breast tissue will go away within a few weeks as their internal organs begin to produce their own hormones.


During puberty, when a boy’s hormones are changing drastically, it’s possible for him to begin producing large amounts of estrogen. However, similar to infants, his body will typically “correct” its hormone levels before puberty ends.


Just like in women, obesity can also cause breasts to grow. Often times, men with mild gynecomastia will try to gain weight, as a way of distracting others from their breasts. However, this tends to only make matters worse.

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