The Birds, the Bees and Gynecomastia, Talk to Your Sons!
Talking about the “birds and the bees” with children is something that makes many parents uncomfortable. Parents need to decide how they will answer children’s questions. There are many self-help books and programs to help guide parents through tough questions. Children need to be prepared for changes as they go through puberty.
Wise parents will start early in discussions about puberty with their children. Using a matter of fact tone with age-appropriate information, is better than letting them hear stories from other kids, television, or other inappropriate sources.
As boys approach puberty, they may be excited to note that their voice is getting deeper and maybe getting new hair where hair didn’t grow before. They may be happy to see facial hair and can start shaving like Dad. However, there are more changes, up to 70% of boys may begin to develop breasts as they go through puberty, a condition known as gynecomastia.
Adolescent gynecomastia is a normal result of hormonal changes. Left untreated it will usually resolve itself within a few months up to 2 years. If boys aren’t aware that this is a normal phenomenon they may be terrified to see breasts appear on their chests. Most feel great shame and embarrassment and will try to hide their chest. They may be teased mercilessly from classmates, causing withdrawal from social activities. Usually, boys are too embarrassed to talk to their parents. Parents may be totally unaware that their son is suffering. Unfortunately, many parents are not familiar with gynecomastia.
Today with the advent of the internet, information is readily available, and hopefully, the mystery of gynecomastia is a thing of the past. Parents need to prepare their sons of the possibility they may temporarily develop breasts before it happens.
If your son is having a hard time coping, it would be wise to seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in gynecomastia. Dr. Miguel Delgado, M.D. advises parents that in some cases male breast reduction surgery is available for young men, especially when it is affecting them psychologically.
If you have a son who is struggling with male breasts, call now (415) 898-4161 for an appointment with Dr. Delgado and learn what options are available.