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Is it normal for boys to grow breasts?

Kevo is an 11 year-old-boy and his breasts are growing big. They can be noticed through his sweater. Is this normal?

Kevo’s breasts have grown quite big that both girls and boys are making fun of him at school. Some boys force him to remove his shirt while girls tell him he needs to start wearing a bra. This is bullying and it is unacceptable.

Kevo is not alone.

There are other young boys and men who have enlarged breasts. Normally, it is the women who grow breasts. We rarely see or hear men who have breasts.

That means that men don’t have breasts, right?

Wrong!

Men have breast tissue. The only difference between men’s and women’s breasts is that the breast tissue for many men does not enlarge.

However, for some men, especially those in puberty, the breast tissue enlarges. Because medical professionals like showing off they call this gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia is a condition where boys develop enlarged breasts due to hormonal changes during puberty. It can occur due to several factors:

Why some boys have enlarged breasts

Common causes include:

  • Hormone imbalance: An imbalance between testosterone and oestrogen can cause enlarged breast tissue. This is common during puberty. Hormone imbalance is common during puberty. If the levels of testosterone drop and those of oestrogen increase, breast tissue can grow.
  • Obesity: Being overweight can increase oestrogen levels leading to growth of breast tissue.
  • Other factors: Age affects breast tissue in both newborn boys and old men. On newborns, it occurs when oestrogen is passed through the placenta from the mother to the boy. In older men, the production of testosterone is less while there’s more oestrogen. Chances in hormone levels can cause excess growth of breast tissue.
  • Certain medicines, illegal drugs, alcoholism, and health conditions such as liver disease can lead to enlarged breast tissue. 

Back to Kevo

Kevo is 11, which means he is in puberty. We all know that this is a very interesting time in a boy’s life. Things grow bigger including shoulders, facial hair, muscles, and hair starts to grow in unexpected places.  

One of the most noticeable changes is enlarged breasts.

While it is normal to feel embarrassed or self-conscious know that this condition, is totally normal and temporary. It will eventually become flat at some point so no need to worry.

When to see a doctor

If you're concerned or have any questions about gynecomastia, talk to your doctor. Remember that temporary breast tissue growth in boys is a common part of puberty that will usually go away on its own.

However, you should visit a doctor if:

  • You notice swelling
  • You feel pain or breasts feel tender
  • You Notice nipple discharge

Did you learn something new?

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