What causes of gynecomastia?

Medical content writer - Medical student
23 September. 2023
5/5 - (2 votes)

causes of gynecomastia: Gynecomastia (GM) is characterized by enlargement of the male breast, caused by glandular proliferation and fat deposition. GM is common and occurs in adolescents, adults and in old age. The aim of this content is to discuss the etiology and therapy of GM. A hormonal imbalance between estrogens and androgens is the key hallmark of GM generation. The etiology of GM is attributable to physiological factors, endocrine tumors or dysfunctions, non-endocrine diseases, drug use or idiopathic causes. Clinical evaluation must address diagnostic confirmation, search for an etiological factor and guide the treatment. A proposal for tailored therapy is presented. Weight loss, reassurance, pharmacotherapy with tamoxifen and surgical correction are the therapeutic options. For long-standing GM, the best results are generally achieved through surgery, combining liposuction and mammary adenectomy.

What is the cause of gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia (GM) is defined as the benign enlargement of the breast tissue in men, which is caused by the imbalance of hormones in the body. if the level of female hormones such as estrogen increases in the body of men, it causes an imbalance with male hormones or androgens, and thus it causes men's breast to become bigger. Men's breast enlargement may occur in one or both breasts. The growth rate of the disease in both breasts can be different and is not necessarily the same.

GM is a common disease in men and mostly adults. It can be physically uncomfortable, psychologically distressing and may have a negative impact on self-confidence and body image. For this reason, GM is one of the most common reasons for men to refer to medical consultants to improve the condition of their breasts.

The main purpose of this study was to analyze:  

  • Factors boosting the risk of getting GM(Clinical etiology)
  • Common ways to treat this disease were discussed(Treatment)

causes of gynecomastia

GM is a multifactorial disease and many conditions may be associated with it. Besides, the cause of this problem is various in different age groups. Observing this condition in babies, teenagers and men over 50 years old is usually normal. At birth, all babies (both boys and girls) have mammary gland tissue. During pregnancy the baby receives estrogen from mother through placenta. Nevertheless, the mammary gland tissue usually disappears by itself after the first weeks of life and before the first year of life.During puberty, the ratio between estrogen and androgen undulates. This hormonal fluctuation can cause breast growth temporarily. In 90% of cases, the mammary gland tissue disappears within 2 years. With age, older men produce less male hormones and more estrogen. As a result, breast growth increases.In some cases, breast swelling in men has other causes. In most cases, the cause of this disorder will not be diagnosed. In addition to body changes during puberty and aging. other factors can be involved in the occurrence of GM.

Medications that can cause gynecomastia

It can be a side effect of a number of medications; Examples of medications that can be associated with GM include:

  • Antiandrogen drugs, which are prescribed in the treatment of prostate enlargement or cancer¬∑        AIDS drugs
  • Anti-anxiety medications such as diazepam
  • Anti-ulcer drugs(such as ranitidine and omeprazole)
  • Antidepressants
  • some antibiotics(such as metronidazole and ketoconazole)

Some disorders related to physical health: Some disorders affect the hormones, disrupting their order and causing GM, for instance:

  • Tumors: Some tumors such as adrenal glands and pituitary gland can cause changes in the production of female and male hormones.
  • Hyperthyroidism: In this disorder, the thyroxine hormone is secreted in a high amount from the thyroid gland.
  • Kidney failure: About half of dialysis patients complain of breast enlargement due to hormonal changes.
  • Liver failure and cirrhosis.
  • Hypogonadism: It is a disorder that occurs in men with insufficient testicular function. This occurs as a result of Klinefelter syndrome or hypothalamic abnormalities.
  • Hermaphroditism: It is a condition in which a person has both male and female reproductive organs
  • Severe hunger: In a study of soldiers captured after World War II, prolonged starvation decreased testosterone levels, while GM was observed due to continued natural estrogen production.
  • Obesity: In men with obesity, as a result of unbalanced and irregular nutrition, the amount of body fat increases uncontrollably. Adipose tissue is an active site where a man can convert from testosterone to estrogen. This decrease in testosterone level causes GM.
  • ¬†Herbal products: Sometimes the herbal products that people use may cause hormonal imbalance and cause GM for men. The amount of estrogen in plants in cosmetic products such as shampoo, soap and lotion can cause GM. You should pay attention to the use of estrogen-containing herbs such as tea tree oil and lavender. You should avoid Regular exposure to these products.¬†
  • Narcotics and alcohol: Abuse of this substances (such as marijuana and amphetamines) can lead to GM.

treatment for gynecomastia

In most cases, GM improves by itself without the need for treatment. However, if disorders such as malnutrition or liver cirrhosis are the causes of gynecomastia and inflammation, you should get treatment as soon as possible. There are two main methods to treat GM:

  1. Using drugs: Medicines such as tamoxifen and raloxifene help to treat breast cancer or other disorders
  2. Surgery and removal of excess breast tissue: If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your large breasts, you can undergo surgery. GM surgery is perhaps the main treatment method for GM. On the other hand, it is very important to use the right techniques and methods to prevent the recurrence of the disease. In GM surgery, in some cases, it is necessary to make an incision only around the nipple. But in some cases, it is necessary to create an incision under the breasts. The technique used depends on the size of the breasts and the amount of extra tissue. The doctor can choose the right technique by performing various tests and examining the patient. To receive expert advice for treatment and consult with specialists, you can contact our supporters in Mediranco health tourism company.

Conclusions about causes of gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is a common condition that may be attributable to an estrogen/androgen imbalance caused by several etiological factors. After confirming the diagnosis and searching for a specific cause, the therapy for GM should be personalized.

Fortunately, in many cases, GM is resolved with the passage of time and the balancing of hormones in the body. However, for those who have been involved in this condition for a long time, lifestyle guidance, reassurance, medical treatment and surgical correction are valid tailored therapeutic options.

Gynecomastia in Iran

Gynecomastia in Iran

The average cost of gynecomastia surgery in Iran ranges from $1,500 to $3,000. The cost typically covers doctor visits, tests, clinic fees, anesthesia, post-op recovery, follow-up, and related expenses.


  • It is often caused by changes in levels of the female hormone (estrogen) and the male hormone (testosterone)

  • Stress can cause male breast tissue to enlarge periodically. The adrenal gland may increase secretion of estrogen precursors in response to stress.

  • Quitting triggers for gynecomastia (such as steroids, drugs, and excess alcohol consumption) can eliminate the cause of gynecomastia. Weight loss, dieting and exercising can reduce body fat, which may also decrease the size of male breasts.


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