Gynecomastia is the clinical term for unusually large breast development in a man caused by swelling of the mammary gland. Commonly referred to as “man boobs” it is a condition brought on by the affected man over producing the female breast growth hormone estradiol. The breasts become enlarged and may be painful (a condition known as mastalgia). The condition falls into two categories. Bilateral Gynecomastia, where both sides of the chest are affected and Unilateral Gynecomastia where only one side is affected
Newborn babies, boys going through puberty and elderly gentlemen are those most likely to develop Gynecosmastia. In the newborn the condition is temporary and caused by close exposure the mothers estrogen hormone. Around 65% of boys will have Gynecomastia for a short while normally peaking at age 14 to 15. This is a normal part of puberty and will disappear naturally. The elderly have the condition because muscles lose strength as we age leading to sagging in the chest area.
Worldwide around 15% of adult men have Gynecomastia. Of this 15%, two thirds will have bilateral Gynecomastia which means both breasts are affected and the remaining third will have unilateral Gynecomastia which only affects one breast. Incidences are higher in men with a genetic disorder affecting their sex chromosomes such as Klinefelter syndrome or the 1 in 500 American men born with an extra sex chromosome. So you see, you are not alone if you have Gynecomastia. There are millions of men in the same boat who are just as desperate to get rid of their man boobs.