Does Your Loved One Suffer From Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia affects more than 60% of men at some point in their life. If your husband, partner, son, brother, or friend is suffering from gynecomastia, we are here to help. The forum “Gynecomastia Acceptance” is built for friends and family members of gynecomastia patients to help them understand what it is like to live with gynecomastia and how they can provide support and also a place where they can ask questions to others in the same situation.
How to Approach This Topic?
It is difficult to talk about gynecomastia with someone who is suffering and probably trying to hide their male breasts. The person is probably embarrassed and even feels shame about having more breast tissue than their peers. You need to handle discussions delicately and perhaps let them know you discovered this website that offers tons of information, support, and a “safe place” to ask questions about the same issues on their own time.
“The Talk” – Key Messages to Deliver
If you can sit down and have a discussion with your loved one, some points you might want to mention are:
- It’s a common condition
- In most adult cases, male breast enlargement is unlikely to go away by itself
- It needs to be diagnosed by a gynecomastia specialist in a private physical examination. If the male breasts are mostly made up of fat, it is referred to as “pseudogynecomastia.” There are a few ways to reduce the appearance of pseudogynecomastia, including non-surgical options such as diet and exercise. If the chest contains hard glandular breast tissue in one or both breasts, gynecomastia surgery is needed to restore a masculine look.
- There are compression garments that can lessen the appearance of gynecomastia as a temporary solution.
- Stress that the person is not alone, and that they have support from you, his family, and his friends. Suggest that he joins our online forum, which allows him to anonymously post questions and photos and get advice from other members of the adolescent gynecomastia community.
Does Your Son Suffer from Gynecomastia?
About 60% of teenage boys develop gynecomastia as they go through puberty. For about 95% of boys, the gynecomastia will resolve on its own after a few years. If his male breasts remain after 2 years, it most likely is permanent and only can be corrected by surgery. The teenage years are a very sensitive time for young men, and if it appears that gynecomastia is permanent, surgery should be considered.
Young men do very well with surgery as their skin is very elastic and tends to snap back. Young men can be especially sensitive to discussing their gynecomastia with their parents which is why this website, where he can find support from his peers and get advice from board-certified plastic surgeons who specialize in gynecomastia.
Ideally, encourage your son to visit his primary care provider to evaluate his breasts. Firm and fibrous breast tissue will not go away with age or exercise. If his breasts are severely enlarged, it is unlikely they will return to a normal shape without surgery. Since his pediatrician has known him since an early age, he/she can help determine what the best course of action is, which can include seeing a gynecomastia surgeon for further evaluation. In some cases, the surgeon may recommend surgery on young men as early as 12 years old.
Regardless, your son needs to feel part of the decision-making with you and his surgeon. Our page on teen gynecomastia provides a more detailed overview of what to expect from surgery. It is worth noting that there are a few drugs in the pipeline that may be able to treat teen gynecomastia.
Does Your Significant Other Suffer from Gynecomastia?
When it comes to your significant other, determine if his male breasts are a source of embarrassment or shame for him, or you!
- If your partner is not bothered by his “man boobs” but you are, you need to tread lightly. Identify how strongly you feel about it and prepare a way to delicately discuss it without evoking denial, or humiliation. If you have never talked to him about this before, it may cause problems in your relationship, and possibly have a negative impact on your sex life or damage his self-confidence. It is imperative that he feels you love him and accept him, but if his gynecomastia bothers you or him, seek professional help.
- If both of you are troubled by his gynecomastia, in addition to the key messages above, you may want to explain how his condition limits your relationship. You might want to talk about things you would be able to do together that he now avoids, such as beach and pool parties.
©Copyright 2020 Gynecomastia.org. All rights reserved. Use and access to this site are subject to the terms and conditions as set out in our Legal Statement and Privacy Statement.
The content on Gynecomastia.org 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.