Low testosterone levels in men can sometimes lead to a condition called Gynaecomastia, or the development of larger breasts. Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone and is responsible for male physical features, a man’s sex drive and mood. When there is an imbalance of hormones in men, Gynaecomastia can develop. Both low testosterone and Gynaecomastia are often treatable, but it is important to first understand the underlying causes of each condition.
Understanding Low Testosterone
Levels normally decrease as men age. This is called hypogonadism or “low T.” According to the Urology Care Foundation, 1 in 4 men over the age of 45 have low T. Having low levels can lead to several complications:
- Reduced libido
- Low sperm count
- ED or erectile dysfunction
- Enlarged male breasts, called Gynaecomastia
The male body produces both testosterone and oestrogen, although oestrogen is usually found at low levels. If a man’s testosterone levels are especially low in comparison to oestrogen, or if there is an excess of oestrogen activity relative to testosterone, larger breasts may develop.
When boys hit puberty and there is a noticeable change in hormonal activity in the body, Gynaecomastia may appear. However, it may resolve itself with time and without treatment. The excess of breast tissue may be equal in both breasts, or there may be more in one breast than the other.
As levels drop in older men, Gynaecomastia may develop and persist unless it’s treated. Gynaecomastia affects about one in four men between the ages of 50 and 80, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition usually is not harmful or serious. In some cases, it can result in sore breast tissue.
Causes of Low Testosterone and Gynaecomastia
Low T is most often simply the result of ageing. Underlying health conditions can also be the cause. Talk to your doctor about whether your low T might be the result of an underlying condition, such as:
- Damage to cells in the testes that produce testosterone
- An accident
- Testicular cancer
- Cancer treatment
- Disease that affects parts of the brain
Additionally, if you take anabolic steroids, you may also be damaging your body’s ability to manufacture testosterone. At Moorgate Andrology, we offer treatments for both erectile dysfunction and Gynaecomastia, contact us today to learn about our treatments.