About 50% of boys get man boobs during puberty, so don't panic. But why the heck do we get man boobs?

Being fit and active reduces the likelihood of man boobs

Gynaecomastia (try guy-nah-koh-mas-tee-uh) is the official name.

About 90% of men will notice their breasts enlarging at some point in their life. It happens to 50% of boys during puberty. So if you're worrying about it - don't. It's normal.

If you've got man boobs, you're not turning into a girl. It doesn't make you any less of a man. And nearly everyone goes flat again within two or three years.

So why is it happening?

Some people are more sensitive to rising hormone levels in their bodies during puberty.

Is it because I am fat?

If you're well-covered all over, there'll likely be more fat around the breasts, too. But this is different. Even skinny fellas get man boobs.

What can I do?

Being fit and active reduces the likelihood of man boobs. No need to do a million bench presses - just get sweaty regularly.

Man boobs get bigger if we:

  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Take drugs like cannabis and amphetamines
  • Use body-building steroids
  • Be patient. If you've got man boobs, swimming, tight tops and communal showers won't be your favourite activities just now. But there's no need to hide.

When should I see a doctor?

  • If one breast is noticeably bigger than the other.
  • If stuff starts coming out of your nipples.
  • If you don't get erections
  • If your breasts are painful
  • If you're over 18 and the man boobs aren't flattening out
  • BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.

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