A condition that exclusively affects males is Gynaecomastia. It often leads to embarrassment and confusion. What causes male Gynaecomastia? Let’s delve deep into this topic.

Understanding Gynaecomastia

Did you know that nearly half of all males may experience gynecomastia at some point? This figure might surprise many people, as it’s often considered a rare condition. The stigma associated with it usually leads men to hide their condition, which adds to this misconception.

What Causes Male Gynaecomastia?

Many men grappling with this condition often ask this question, “What causes male gynecomastia?”. This section will elaborate on the factors causing male gynaecomastia and shed light on this misunderstood health condition.

Hormonal Imbalance

The primary cause of male gynecomastia lies within the intricate hormonal landscape of the human body. Alongside testosterone, a small quantity of the ‘female’ hormone, estrogen, is also produced.

Testosterone and Estrogen

Usually, testosterone levels far outweigh estrogen levels, maintaining a careful equilibrium. However, male gynecomastia can develop when the balance tips – with a drop in testosterone or a surge in estrogen. This imbalance enlarges the male breast tissue, giving the chest a more feminine appearance.

Health Conditions Leading to Gynaecomastia

Liver failure and cirrhosis can change how the body metabolizes hormones, leading to increased breast tissue. Kidney failure can cause changes in hormone production, too. 

Gynaecomastia or Pseudogynaecomastia

An essential part of understanding what causes male gynecomastia involves distinguishing it from a similar-looking condition – pseudo gynecomastia. Although both conditions cause an enlarged appearance of the male chest, their underlying causes, and thus their treatment strategies, differ substantially. Let’s dive into the nuances that set these two conditions apart.

The human body contains two primary types of breast tissue: glandular and fatty. Gynaecomastia and pseudo-gynaecomastia involve the enlargement of these two different tissue types.


Gynaecomastia results from an overgrowth of the glandular tissue in the male breast. The trigger for this imbalance can be varied, from natural hormonal fluctuations during different life stages and certain underlying health conditions to the consumption of specific medications or substances.


Unlike gynecomastia, this condition doesn’t involve hormonal imbalance. Instead, it is often associated with obesity or significant weight gain. The extra fat deposited in and around the breast area gives the chest a fuller, breast-like appearance, mimicking gynecomastia.


Typically, healthcare professionals will conduct a physical examination and inquire about any relevant medical history. They may also order imaging studies like mammograms or ultrasounds to visualize the breast tissue better.

In cases of gynecomastia, the enlarged area feels firm due to the presence of glandular tissue. In contrast, pseudo-gynaecomastia feels softer because of the fatty tissue. The location of the enlargement can also provide clues. Gynaecomastia usually shows central breast enlargement, while pseudo-gynaecomastia tends to cause more diffuse breast enlargement.

Gynaecomastia Treatment

The treatment for gynecomastia often involves adjusting medication, treating the underlying medical condition, or in some cases, surgery.

Pseudo-gynecomastia Treatment

As pseudo-gynecomastia is closely tied to weight, the primary treatment approach involves weight management strategies. These include a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and sometimes, weight loss medications or surgery.

Coping with the Emotional Impact of Gynaecomastia

When we discuss health conditions, we often focus solely on the physical implications, neglecting the equally important psychological aspects. Gynaecomastia, a condition that prompts a significant alteration in physical appearance, can undeniably lead to emotional distress. Acknowledging these feelings and seeking appropriate support is vital in managing this condition holistically.

Navigating Self-esteem and Body Image Issues

The development of male breasts can be distressing and uncomfortable, primarily because it deviates from societal norms and expectations of the male physique. Many men with gynecomastia report feeling less masculine, leading to a decrease in self-esteem and negative body image. The embarrassment may further intensify in public situations like swimming or gym sessions.

It’s essential to remember that your worth extends beyond your physical appearance. Engaging in activities that boost self-esteem can be a helpful strategy. For instance, pursuing hobbies, achieving fitness goals, or excelling in work or academics can reinforce a sense of self-worth and competence.

The Role of Professional Psychological Support

It’s crucial to normalize seeking help for mental health concerns. If the emotional toll of gynaecomastia feels overwhelming, consider reaching out to mental health professionals. Therapists and psychologists are trained to help you process your feelings and develop effective coping strategies. 

Finding Community and Peer Support

Remember, you’re not alone. Online forums and support groups can be valuable resources for sharing experiences, advice, and encouragement.

Family and Friends: A Vital Support System

Remember to appreciate the power of support from loved ones. It can be hard to open up about personal struggles, but sharing your experiences with trusted family members or friends can be therapeutic. They can offer emotional support, a listening ear, and when asked, advice.