Causes of Gynaecomastia

Gynecomastia is a condition affecting the male gender where the amount of breast tissue increases. It mostly happens when there is a hormonal imbalance of testosterone and estrogen. Gynecomastia can occur in one or both breasts. It is not a severe issue but in some cases, it can lower your self-esteem or cause pain in your breasts. Gynecomastia can vanish dependently or you may need medical attention. Medications can help treat the condition and in some cases, your Beverly Hills plastic surgeon can recommend surgery. There are various causes of gynecomastia and below are some.

Hormonal imbalance

Gynecomastia can result from hormonal imbalance, especially between testosterone and estrogen hormone. Estrogen causes the growth of breast tissue. As a man, you produce both hormones but testosterone is much higher, stopping estrogen from causing the growth of breast tissue. If you have an imbalance in your hormones, a man’s breast can grow. Sometimes the cause of hormone imbalance is unknown.


Being obese can increase the risk of having gynecomastia. This happens because being overweight can increase estrogen levels, which causes breast tissue to grow. Obesity also increases the amount of fat in your body, and the excess can accumulate around your breasts leading to enlarged breast tissue. In some cases, losing weight or engaging in regular exercise can help reduce the fat but it may not always improve gynecomastia.


Various medications can cause gynecomastia such as tricyclic antidepressants, some antibiotics, chemotherapy for cancer treatment, and anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam. Anti-androgens used to treat enlarged prostate and prostate cancer such as flutamide, finasteride and spironolactone can also increase the risk of developing gynecomastia. Anabolic steroids and androgens that treat hormone deficiencies and delayed puberty can cause man’s breasts.

Recreation and illicit drugs

Some recreational substances can cause gynecomastia. These materials include marijuana, heroin, methadone, alcohol, amphetamines, and anabolic steroids that build muscles and promote athletic performance.

Newborn baby boys

Gynecomastia can happen in newborn baby boys because estrogen passes through the mother’s placenta to the child. It happens in more than half of all male infants. Gynaecomastia is a temporary condition and it disappears within two to three weeks after birth.


During puberty, a boy’s hormone levels can vary. If testosterone levels drop, estrogen can lead to the growth of breast tissue. Gynaecomastia will vanish as boys get older and the hormone levels are balanced. In most cases, the problem will go away dependently within six months to two years.

Older age

As men get older, the production of testosterone reduces. Most old men tend to have excess body fat, which causes more estrogen production. These hormonal changes can cause excess tissue growth in the breast.

Health conditions

 Hyperthyroidism a condition where the thyroid gland produces excess hormone thyroxine can cause gynecomastia. Malnutrition and starvation can lead to a drop in testosterone levels and estrogen remains the same leading to gynecomastia. Man’s breasts can also occur when you resume normal nutrition. Tumors affecting testes, adrenal glands, and pituitary glands can produce hormones that alter testosterone leading to gynecomastia.

Although gynecomastia is not a severe problem and may not cause symptoms, treatments are available to improve your appearance. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacobson’s for gynecomastia treatment to boost your confidence.