Gynecomastia: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 2/10/2021

Gynecomastia is the medical term that refers to enlargement of the breasts in a male. A temporary enlargement of the breasts can be a normal occurrence in adolescent males.

Signs and symptoms of gynecomastia include breast enlargement that is typically present on both sides but may be larger on one side. Associated symptoms and signs can include

  • pain,
  • tenderness,
  • sensitivity, or
  • swelling.

Gynecomastia does not typically cause pain.

Causes of gynecomastia

An imbalance in hormones, with a relative excess of estrogens compared with androgens (male hormones), causes gynecomastia. Certain medications and medical conditions can also lead to the development of gynecomastia in males. Examples of conditions that can cause gynecomastia include cirrhosis of the liver, low testosterone, obesity, chronic kidney failure, and hyperthyroidism.

Other gynecomastia symptoms and signs

  • Breast Enlargement That Is Typically Present on Both Sides But May Be Larger on One Side
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Women's Health Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.