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Gynecomastia

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gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is an increase in the amount of breast gland tissue in boys or men, caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly.

Pseudogynecomastia refers to an increase in fat but not glandular tissue in male breasts.

Newborns, boys going through puberty and older men may develop gynecomastia as a result of normal changes in hormone levels, though other causes also exist.

Generally, gynecomastia isn’t a serious problem, but it can be tough to cope with the condition. Men and boys with gynecomastia sometimes have pain in their breasts and may feel embarrassed.

Gynecomastia may go away on its own. If it persists, medication or surgery may help.

Symptoms

Most adult men with gynecomastia report no symptoms. Signs and symptoms of the condition may include:

  • Pain, particularly in adolescents
  • Swollen breast tissue
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nipple sensitivity with rubbing against clothes

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have:

  • Swelling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Nipple discharge in one or both breasts

Causes

Gynecomastia is triggered by a decrease in the amount of the hormone testosterone compared with estrogen. The decrease can be caused by conditions that block the effects of testosterone, reduce testosterone or increase your estrogen level.

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