Living with Gynecomastia

Many men are unable or unwilling to have surgery because of religious, health, personal, or financial reasons. They are living with gynecomastia. This section is about their efforts and journeys to come to terms with themselves and their bodies.

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Medical Author: Miguel Delgado, M.D.
Dr. Miguel DelgadoDr. Delgado is a highly skilled surgeon specializing in gynecomastia surgery. Dr. Delgado has committed a significant amount of his practice to the care and education of men and boys with gynecomastia. Dr. Delgado’s practice philosophy is to provide the highest quality of patient care to the people who seek out his professional services. Dr. Delgado and his staff are committed to understanding their patients' concerns, educating them on their options, and executing the best surgical outcome for each patient. Dr. Delgado is the new owner of since 2010. He has dedicated a significant part of his life and practice to improving the community.


Early Living with Gynecomastia

Living with gynecomastia is a daily struggle. There is a time in every male’s life, usually before puberty, when you feel comfortable about your body without any worries. Then things change. Comments are made and you note them. You suddenly realize your chest is different than other adolescent boys and you are embarrassed by it. You begin to hide your chest from family and friends. You avoid the shirts vs. skins game and swimming is avoided altogether. Certain social situations are ignored, and you might experience social isolation. Clothes become heavier, very loose, and are usually worn with a t-shirt. Even in the heat of the summer, your clothes remain largely the same as colder months.

As time passes, living with excess breast tissue can causes changes to your posture. In an attempt to de-emphasize the enlarged chest, the shoulders slouch forward, causing a rounding of the back and shoulders. The male breast may become tender and painful which can be limiting in other ways. This tenderness can persist for years.


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Adults Living with Gynecomastia

Living with gynecomastia becomes a way of life: adaptation, compromise, and protection of one’s self-esteem. This might work for some men, but many have a very difficult time feeling self conscious about their gynecomastia, or man boobs. Many adolescent males seek gynecomastia surgery, while others live with it in the hope that working out and building up the chest muscles will cure the problem. Unfortunately, even the best workout routine will not reduce the breast gland tissue. The males with financial means and the desire to have surgery change this, but the others live with hiding their chests.


This can become a problem for dads with gynecomastia; they might decline to participate in their children’s outdoor activities, like swimming or going to the beach, due to the embarrassment of their own enlarged breast tissue. This can become an issue for the family, and is a common reason for men to seek gynecomastia surgery in older ages.

Drug-Induced Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia caused by anabolic steroids is one of the most common causes of drug-induced gynecomastia. These men are in pursuit of the perfect male physique. Little do they know that this type of drug can sabotage their goals. Once the gynecomastia breast gland develops, it does not go away without surgery. Living with this condition might prevent one from exposing the body they worked so hard to develop.

Living with gynecomastia is difficult and affects more men than you might realize. The community is here for support and solutions. We welcome your stories, we welcome you to our forums to discuss any issues, and we welcome you to consult with us for more advice.

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Miguel A. Delgado, MD
Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
Gynecomastia Specialist
San Francisco, CA

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hormones fix gynecomastia?

In some cases, your doctor may try medications to shrink the breast tissue or treat discomfort. But, rarely is this a long-term solution. However, in most cases, male breast reduction is required to remove excess glandular tissue for a more masculine chest appearance.

Can hormones cause gynecomastia?

Yes, gynecomastia is often the result of a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and testosterone.

How do you get rid of hormonal gynecomastia?

Male breast reduction surgery, or gynecomastia surgery, is the most effective way to treat gynecomastia. This procedure will remove excess tissue and fat from the breasts for a more masculine appearance.

Can lowering estrogen help gynecomastia?

Estrogen-blocking drugs are not a permanent solution for gynecomastia. To fully correct the issue of enlarged male breasts, gynecomastia surgery is needed.

What hormonal imbalances cause gynecomastia in males?

Yes, men who have an increase in estrogen compared to testosterone often have gynecomastia or enlarged male breasts.

Can testosterone reverse gynecomastia?

For some men with low testosterone, treatment with testosterone replacement therapy may help with their gynecomastia. However, those with pronounced gynecomastia caused by excess glandular tissue will require male breast reduction surgery to permanently correct the problem.

What is the best estrogen blocker for gynecomastia?

Estrogen blockers are not recommended for the treatment of gynecomastia.

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The content on is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. It does not replace the need to meet with a physician who will accurately diagnose your condition and suggest treatment options.

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