Does The Use of Anabolic Steroids Cause Enlarged Male Breasts (Gynecomastia)

Gynecomastia is a condition that causes the male breast tissue to swell up. This usually happens due to the imbalance of two hormones in your body. Men mostly produce a hormone called testosterone which is responsible for their sexual growth during puberty. However, men also produce a small amount of estrogen (a hormone that is abundantly found in females). The imbalance of these two hormones typically occurs when adolescent boys are going through puberty or when mature men of an older age naturally begin to produce less testosterone. When this happens, a high percentage of estrogen compels the breast tissues to grow which is the main reason why there are some young boys or older men over 50 who suffer from having visibly larger breasts as compared to other men.

While Gynecomastia can be embarrassing for adolescents and ageing men; for professional bodybuilders it can be a career-ender. Their sport has competitive events in which contestants boast single-digit percentages of body fat, which makes their glandular breast tissue even more pronounced. Bodybuilders don’t always have a sound medical understanding about the negative side effects of anabolic steroids or the ingestion of over-the-counter hormones sold in sports nutrition and fitness supplement stores. Anabolic steroid use can have negative side effects on a man’s body, specifically their chest, which can contribute to insecurities and low self-esteem.

Steroids are converted by the body (often fat cells) into estrogen. This increase in estrogen levels is what can cause men to develop unwanted breast tissue. Male bodybuilders can be very body-conscious and place a high value on their physical aesthetics due to high competitive standards in the sport. This often leads male bodybuilders to push their physique to the limits by regularly using or experimenting with steroids. 

While most men will do their research on the pros and cons of taking anabolic steroids and learn that they will be at risk of developing gynecomastia, they don’t necessarily understand the implications of steroid use and how it can directly contribute to the development of enlarged male breasts. Even those who know the risks may not realise that once you develop enlarged breasts due to steroid use, gynecomastia surgery may be the only viable option for correcting it.

Another misunderstanding in the bodybuilding community is the belief that if you develop enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) while taking steroids, it will simply go away after you stop taking them. This is not true. Breast tissue that has developed from using steroids will not go away. It is permanent. Dieting or increasing chest workouts will not fix the problem. Gynecomastia surgery is the only solution for removing breast tissue.

There are many different types of Gynecomastia resulting from steroid use. Bodybuilders can experience one or a combination of classic gynecomastia, puffy nipples, or even enlarged areolas. Furthermore, Gynecomastia caused by steroid use is extremely glandular making it very difficult to provide a desirable aesthetic result with a liposuction procedure alone. Having the condition addressed by liposuction instead of a surgical excision can lead to recurrences, bleeds, and other adverse effects. Direct excision of the tissue is required to achieve the best possible outcome and this is done via Gynecomastia surgery. 

At Esteem Cosmetic Studio, our surgeons have performed many gynecomastia surgical procedures in Sydney, Brisbane, and Canberra. Their expertise and vast experience treating bodybuilders who have taken steroids as well as other men who have developed noticeably larger breasts due to ageing translates into providing their patients with the highest level of patient care and surgical treatment while delivering optimal aesthetic results.

Interested in Gynecomastia Surgery? Call the team at Esteem Cosmetic Studio on 1300 378 336 and schedule an appointment for an in-depth consultation.

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