Will increasing testosterone reduce gynecomastia?
Increasing your testosterone level may cause gynecomastia or make it worse. The aromatization of testosterone can convert to estrogen and shift the hormonal imbalance to cause male breast tissue enlargement.
In men, testosterone is produced mainly in the testicles. It plays a role in many different areas of health, such as bone density, muscle mass, libido, sperm production, energy, fat storage, emotional wellbeing, and sexual function. Gynecomastia occurs when there’s an excess of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is another type of female hormone. It will cause male breast tissue to develop in males. Gynecomastia and low testosterone are both treatable conditions. However, their underlying causes should be understood first.
The testosterone levels of a man decrease with age. The condition is called hypogonadism, or “low testosterone.” It is also called “andropause”, which is similar to the term “menopause” for women”. According to the Urological medical statistics, 1 in 4 men over the age of 45 have low T. Low testosterone levels can cause several complications, including:
- Decreased sexual drive
- Decreased sperm count
- Symptoms of erectile dysfunction
- An enlarged male breast glandular tissue called gynecomastia
- Testosterone replacement therapy is sometimes used to enhance testosterone production.
Both testosterone and estrogen are produced in the male body, though estrogen is typically in low concentrations. When testosterone levels are particularly low, and estrogen levels are excessive, a man may develop larger breast tissue, and excess fat tissue as excess body fat is gained.
Gynecomastia occurs in boys when they reach puberty and their hormonal activity changes. It usually resolves on its own with time and without treatment. Both breasts may have excess breast tissue, or only one breast may have it.
With age, testosterone levels drop, resulting in gynecomastia. If untreated, it may persist. According to the Mayo Clinic, one in four men between 50 and 80 suffer from gynecomastia.
There is usually no harm or serious consequence to this condition. However, in some cases, sore breast tissue can result.
In both cases of gynecomastia and low T, various treatments are available.
There are medications available that can be used to treat gynecomastia, such as raloxifene (Evista) and tamoxifen (Soltamox). These medications have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating breast cancer, but not for treating gynecomastia. “Off-label” use refers to the use of a drug to treat a condition for which it has not been approved by the FDA. It may be safe to use the medication in this way. However, you should consult your physician before starting treatment with these medications.
Male breast reduction surgery is also an option. Perhaps you have heard of liposuction, which removes excess fat from the abdomen. This procedure can also be performed on the swollen breast tissue. Unfortunately, liposuction does not involve the removal of the breast tissue. Breast glands are surgically removed during a mastectomy. It can be accomplished through a small incision and requires a relatively short recovery time. You may be required to undergo corrective or cosmetic surgery to achieve the desired shape and appearance.
Aside from treating gynecomastia, you might also consider treating low testosterone levels. A man’s testosterone level tends to decrease over the course of his lifetime. For this reason, many older men opt to undergo testosterone replacement therapy. The treatment can take many forms, including:
- Gels for the skin
- A patch
In most cases, testosterone replacement therapy results in noticeable improvements in men. Men usually report improvements in:
- More energy
- Increase sex drive
- Mourning erections
- Better sleep
- Increase muscle mass
In addition, they may experience a positive change in their outlook and mood. Potentially higher estrogen levels and extra breast growth. Since normal hormonal changes are altered, female breasts result.
The use of testosterone replacement therapy may cause side effects. Breast cancer and prostate cancer patients should not undergo testosterone replacement therapy. The possibility that this treatment could lead to prostate cancer has been controversial. You may also experience increased risks of cardiovascular events, obstructive sleep apnea, and excessive blood cell production. It is important to discuss the latest research and the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy with your doctor.
If you are considering gynecomastia treatment, call now (415) 898-4161 for a consultation with Dr. Delgado who is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and a gynecomastia specialist practicing in San Francisco Bay Area, Marin County, and San Jose.
Testosterone replacement therapy will not reduce the actual breast gland tissue
Yes, excess testosterone production in the body can cause gynecomastia. At certain levels, testosterone can become converted to estrogen through a process called aromatization. Too much estrogen can produce breast enlargement. Certain medications may block this conversion which is commonly used in men who take anabolic steroids. The use of anabolic steroids is the most frequent medication to cause extra breast tissue which can affect one or both breasts.
Testosterone will not reduce the chest size. However, it can increase chest size or upper body by stimulating muscle growth.