Self-management

Coping and support

For a man, enlarged breasts can be stressful and embarrassing. Gynecomastia can be difficult to hide and a challenge to romantic relationships. During puberty, gynecomastia can make boys a target for teasing from peers. It can make activities such as swimming or changing in the locker room traumatic.

Whatever your age, you may feel like your body has betrayed you and you may feel unhappy with yourself. These feelings are normal, but to help you cope you can:

  • Get counseling. Talk therapy can help you avoid anxiety and depression caused by gynecomastia. It can also help you communicate with your partner or family members so that they understand what you're going through.
  • Reach out to your family and friends. You may feel embarrassed to talk about gynecomastia with the people you care about. But explaining your situation and asking for support will likely strengthen your relationships and reduce stress.
  • Connect with others who have gynecomastia. Talking with men who have had a similar experience can help you cope. Websites such as Gynecomastia.org provide a forum for connecting with others who have the condition.

Prevention

There are a few factors you can control that may reduce the risk of gynecomastia:

  • Don't use illegal drugs. Examples include steroids and androgens, amphetamines, heroin, and marijuana.
  • Avoid alcohol. Don't drink alcohol, or drink in moderation.
  • Review your medications. If you're taking medication known to cause gynecomastia, ask your doctor if there are other choices.
Nov. 01, 2016
References
  1. Braunstein GD. Clinical features, diagnosis, and evaluation of gynecomastia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  2. Braunstein GD. Epidemiology, pathophysiology, and causes of gynecomastia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  3. Braunstein GD. Management of gynecomastia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  4. Longo DL, et al., eds. Disorders of the testes and male reproductive system. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  5. Papadakis MA, et al., eds. Endocrine disorders. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2016. 55th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2016. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  6. Gynecomastia. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/male-reproductive-endocrinology-and-related-disorders/gynecomastia. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  7. AskMayoExpert. Gynecomastia. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.

Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia)