What is Gynaecomastia?

Gynecomastia is the development of breasts in a male. It is an abnormal condition in which male develops a complete breast resembling females. It may occur to single or both breasts. It is non-cancerous and occurs mainly due to hormonal imbalance. The hormone involves in development of breasts are androgen and estrogen.

At puberty, males start developing breasts, and the size and tissue history starts resembling the female breasts due to hormonal imbalance between androgen and estrogen. But it is not limited to puberty. Gynecomastia can happen at any age after puberty.

  1. Causes of Gynaecomastia:

There are a lot of factors that result in Gynaecomastia. But all these factors finally causes an imbalance between androgen and estrogen. In the following, we will discuss some of the factors that lead to this state.

  • Obesity:

Obesity is the main predisposing factor to Gynaecomastia. Obesity causes increased tissue mass in the breast region resulting in enlarged breasts in a male.

  • Hyperthyroidism:

It means increased thyroid hormone (t3 and t4). The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones, and if these hormones are made in a massive amount, it results in enlarged breasts.

  • Hypogonadism:

Hypogonadism is a state in which there is a decrease in gonadal hormones in male. In males, the primary gonadal hormone is Testosterone. It causes the development of male secondary sex characters. But if there is decreased production of Testosterone, it results in the development of female Sexual characters, e.g., development of breasts, decreased facial hairs etc.

  • Hypoandrogenism:

It is a condition in which there is decreased androgen secretion in males. Androgen is actually the gonadal hormones, so decreased gonadal hormone and eventually increased female secondary sex characters. This results in Gynaecomastia.

  • Tumour in gonads:

If there is a tumour in male gonads, i.e. Testes, it results in the development of Gynaecomastia. Tumours directly affect the production of androgens, which eventually causes Gynaecomastia.

  • Chronic Renal Failure:

Chronic Renal Failure results in small testes, diminished spermatogenesis due which there is diminished male secondary sex character and thus enlargement of breasts occur.

  • Ageing:

Ageing also causes a hormonal imbalance that results in the development of breasts in males in old age.

  • Medicines:

Certain medicines if taken for an extended period, results in enlargement of breasts. Several drugs are considered to cause Gynaecomastia, some of which are stated below:

  • Antibiotics
  • Drugs for AIDS patients
  • Drugs for Heart diseases
  • Drugs against Cancer
  • Anti-anxiety Drugs
  • TCA
  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  1. Effects of Gynecomastia / Condition of breasts:

In Gynaecomastia breasts become enlarged, and there are tenderness and pain in breasts. It may occur to single or both breasts. On touching, you will feel rubbery mass under the nipples. Sometimes a white or colourless fluid is seen dripping from nipples. Areola increases in size.

  1. Treatment:

Gynecomastia is an authoritarian, socially awkward state for men and must be treated. Yes, its treatment is possible, and you can overcome this state by following the proper treatment plan. Here we will discuss some of the best treatment methods for Gynaecomastia. There are two ways to treat Gynaecomastia, i.e., surgical and non-surgical, as explained below:

  • Non-Surgical methods:

Here we will discuss the medication for treating Gynaecomastia without surgical removal of enlarged breasts. It is a slow process. Some of the methods are given below:

Testosterone Replacement Therapy: In this method, Testosterone is injected in patients, which causes an increase in male secondary sex character and decreases Gynaecomastia. This method is most effective in older people.

Drugs: Some of the most used medications for treating Gynaecomastia are Clomiphene, Tamoxifen and Danazol.

  • Surgical Method:

It is the surgical removal of the enlarged breast. It is a fast-acting treatment as you can remove the enlarged breast in a single surgery of a few hours. There are two methods for the surgical treatment of Gynaecomastia. Both of these methods are explained below:

Liposuction: It is a suction technique to remove excess fat layers from the enlarged breasts. It does not affect the ducts and parenchyma of the breast but only removes the excess fat.

Mastectomy: It is the surgical removal of the whole breast. In this procedure, the fat layer, the ducts and the parenchyma of the breast are eradicated. It is a slow healing process and is done in severe cases only.

  1. Conclusion:

Gynecomastia is the growth of breasts in a male. It is not a disease, but it is considered a condition which develops due to imbalance of androgen and estrogen. It may not be a disease, but it makes patients socially awkward. There was a time when there was no treatment for Gynaecomastia, but now there are both surgical and non-surgical treatments for Gynaecomastia.

Leave a Reply