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What are the causes of gynecomastia? Can gynecomastia go away on its own?

Goficure - Blog Page - What are the causes of gynecomastia? Can gynecomastia go away on its own? (Blog Post) Last Updated April 27, 2024


Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the breast tissues in adult males and boys. It can occur at any age but is more common in newborns, adolescent boys undergoing puberty, and older men.

The condition causes enlargement or unevenness in one or both breasts. Hormonal imbalance is one of the major causes of gynecomastia. However, other causes may also induce gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia is not a serious or life-threatening condition but it can cause embarrassment due to the appearance of the breasts.

What are the causes of gynecomastia?

Common causes of gynecomastia are as follows:

Hormonal imbalance

One of the prime reasons for gynecomastia is the hormonal imbalance between the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen.

A male baby is born mainly with testosterone hormones and some traces of estrogen hormone. The estrogen hormone controls breast growth. When the testosterone levels are abnormally low it can raise the estrogen level and cause gynecomastia.


Newborn males may be born with gynecomastia. Estrogen hormone may pass through the placenta and cause gynecomastia.

During puberty, the hormonal levels may vary and cause a rise in the estrogen levels. This can cause gynecomastia during adolescence.

Older men produce less testosterone and tend to gain body fat which can lead to higher estrogen levels and cause breast tissue enlargement.


Excess body fat increases the estrogen levels. This can enlarge the breast tissues and cause gynecomastia.


Certain medicines like anti-androgens used to treat prostate cancer or enlarged prostate can induce gynecomastia.

Anabolic steroids used for treating delayed puberty, certain antidepressants, or heart medicines can also cause gynecomastia.

Recreational drugs and alcohol

Recreational or illegal drugs like marijuana, heroin, or alcohol can trigger gynecomastia.

Health conditions

Certain medical conditions can result in gynecomastia:

  • Tumors that have developed mostly in the testes or adrenal glands
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypogonadism that lowers the testosterone levels in the body
  • Kidney problems
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Testicular cancer
  • Congenital disorders

Apart from the above factors, an absence of proper nutrition in babies can cause a drop in the normal testosterone level and cause gynecomastia.

Men undergoing treatments for HIV or AIDS can also show symptoms of breast enlargement.

Herbal products

Regular use of certain herbal products like tea tree oil, lavender oil, or skin care products like lotions or shampoos can affect hormonal levels.

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Can gynecomastia go away on its own?

Yes, in certain cases, gynecomastia can subside on its own.

Gynecomastia is very common in male infants during birth. It generally occurs due to the presence of high levels of estrogen during pregnancy and after birth. The condition gradually subsides within two to three weeks.

Adolescent boys can experience breast tissue growth during puberty. This is due to the imbalance in the hormone levels. The swollen tissues slowly go away as the boy reaches adulthood.

Adult men who have enlarged breasts due to obesity can see some improvement after making certain lifestyle changes like a daily exercise routine and a healthy low-fat diet. The enlargement of breasts occurs due to the accumulation of fat tissues and not a hormonal imbalance. The condition is known as ‘pseudogynecomastia.’

Sometimes, gynecomastia may be permanent and the breast tissues may not shrink on their own. This mainly occurs when the enlargement is due to:

  • Genetics
  • Old age
  • Side effects of certain medications or illicit drug abuse

If gynecomastia does not resolve naturally, you must seek professional medical treatment. The best course of treatment for gynecomastia is a male breast reduction surgery.

Stop your suffering NOW

Don't just jump into a surgery because your doctor is advising you to go for it. Consult our doctors to know if you need a surgery at all. Rest assured, we WON'T recommend you surgery unless it's the last resort.

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Final words

Gynecomastia does not cause any major physical complications but may often lead to mental distress. The first step to treating gynecomastia is to visit a doctor and understand the underlying cause of the condition. Based on the symptoms and diagnosis, the doctor will recommend further tests, medications for the hormone imbalance, or even surgery to remove the excess breast tissues.

  • Start exercising
  • Eat low-fat food
  • Consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis
  • Drink alcohol
  • Use illicit drugs
  • Ignoring symptoms

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