Enlarged breasts can affect both men and women. In men, it’s a condition called gynecomastia, which is usually caused by a hormonal imbalance. In women, it can also be caused by hormonal imbalance and is often associated with perimenopause, which is the stage before menopause. In some cases, what appears to be enlarged breast tissue is actually the formation of a cyst or other type of abnormal growth. Enlarged breasts are sometimes accompanied by pain or discomfort in the area.
When a man or boy has enlarged breasts, they are said to have gynecomastia. This condition occurs when estrogen and testosterone become out of balance in the male body. The condition is often seen in newborns and boys who are going through the natural changes of puberty. Older men may experience this as a result of hormonal changes associated with aging.
In some cases, enlarged male breasts can result from the use of hormonal medications, antibiotics, medications for anxiety and depression, antibiotics, and medications used to treat ulcers, cancer, and certain types of heart disease. It can even occur as a result of other health conditions such as kidney and liver failure, malnutrition, thyroid problems, and disorders that interfere with testosterone production.
In addition to swelling of the breast tissue, a man with enlarged breasts may also experience tenderness or discomfort in the area. Any nipple pain or discharge should be reported to a doctor immediately. Men and boys are often embarrassed by this condition, but they can take heart from the fact that it is treatable. There are medications that can help balance hormone levels in the body and reduce the size of male breasts. Sometimes surgery is also a viable option.
Women can also experience enlarged breasts. While it may not result in the usual embarrassment when it affects men, enlarged breast tissue can be uncomfortable and worrisome. It is often caused by the drop in progesterone levels in the body, a problem often seen as women approach menopause. After menopause, some women may continue to have enlarged breasts because their estrogen levels remain high while their bodies produce lower amounts of progesterone. In some cases, taking progesterone can help.
Sometimes a person may notice that one of their breasts looks enlarged and find that a tumor is causing the problem. Often these tumors are benign, meaning they are not cancerous. However, cancerous tumors can develop in both male and female breasts, and it’s important to contact a doctor right away if changes in size, shape, or sensation occur.