Gynecomastia is the medical term for ‘man boobs’ – when breast-like bulges appear on a man’s chest. Gynecomastia is very common – it is believed to affect around 70% of men, usually during puberty when the body is being flooded with hormones. For some, the breast-like lumps naturally reduce over time; for others, they remain into adulthood.
An imbalance of the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen is the primary cause of male breasts, which can happen naturally, or as the result of taking hormone medication (e.g. steroids).
What is Gynecomastia?
Being overweight is another factor that can contribute to this imbalance and cause Gynecomastia. It can affect one or both breasts and can range from a small swelling around the nipple to larger protrusions.
Although occasionally painful, Gynecomastia poses no risk to your health and it is not linked to breast cancer. However, it can have a negative impact on your body confidence and self-esteem. For some men, these negative emotions can contribute to more serious issues later down the line, including depression and related mental health conditions.
If you’re concerned about Gynecomastia or you’re experiencing pain the male breast area, the first thing to do is consult a medical professional and discuss how you’re feeling.