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Men In Bras: The Medical Reason

Updated on August 2, 2008

Gynecomastia

While for many men, wearing a bra is something linked with their sexuality, for a proportion of the male population, a bra is as necessary an item of clothing as it is for a woman. You see, sometimes men grow breasts too. While this is relatively rare for what I will term purely medical disorders, many of us are already familiar with the extra chest tissue gained by obese men. These breasts often remain even if the weight is lost, and instead of shrinking back to the ideal male chest, they form loose pouches of skin that can be rectified only by plastic surgery.

It is estimated that up to 40% of males will experience breast tissue growth during puberty, and many men find that through either hormonal imbalance, or obesity, the breasts they grow are every bit as cumbersome to them as to their female counterparts. Few men finding themselves in this position spend all day playing with them in front of the mirror, as the common male fantasy is supposed to go. Instead, the growth of breast tissue can be humiliating and demoralizing, as can the need to wear a bra.

The technical term for male breast growth is gynecomastia, and though its occurrence in adolescent males is often temporary, for many other men, the breast tissue can remain after the adolescent years. Science is as yet still undecided as to the causes of gynecomastia, however anabolic steroids have been known to induce the condition, and even marijuana is thought to be a possible, though unproven contributor.

Genetic disorders such as having an extra X sex chromosome (a condition known as Klinefelter Syndrome) often result in breast growth, as do diseases of various glands such as the pituitary gland. Certain drugs and diseases which affect a man's testosterone levels can also result in the growth of breast tissue.

Men with breast tissue find wearing a bra to be much more comfortable than allowing their breast tissue to flap about the place, especially if they are undertaking physical activity. Some men also find that they must tape down their breast tissue in order to avoid taunting and physical discomfort. Understanding is required in these situations, and perhaps if you happen to catch a glimpse of a bra in a bloke, don't leap to the conclusion that he must be dressing up as a French maid in his spare time. While this may be the case, it is also possible that he requires his brassiere for medical reasons, in which case commenting or looking at him strangely is rather cruel.

The moral of the story:

Bite your tongue there Cletus, it could be you wearing a bra next.

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    • profile image

      Richard Roper 

      18 months ago

      I wear a bra every day for two medical problems (1) hormonal imbalance. (2) injury to the shoulder and chest area. So I need the support to that area. I find that if I don't use one by the end of the day I have some pain in the chest area, and need to take something for it. I rather be comfortable using a bra than ending up taking a lot of stuff for pain. No one has ever said anything about it or even given me funny looks

    • profile image

      Curley 

      8 years ago

      I am a 56 yar old heterosexual male. I do wear bras. My doctor said it is something that either just happened or it could be side effects to the medicine I have been taking. My breasts are very very large. I don't have a problem wearing bras. It's something that I have to learn to live with. When I go to the health club to swim, I either wear my trunks and a bra top or a woman's suit. None of the people I work with have a problem with the fact I wear bras. It's been a while now since I've been wearing bras. I wish more people would understand things like this. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Keith 

      8 years ago

      I am still wearing but have gone up a size to 44B. A bra is normal wear to me

    • profile image

      Bart 

      8 years ago

      My breasts started growing when I was only 16, and continued to grow till I was 23 and now I wear a 38D bra. I think if you are a man and have large breasts than you should wear a bra. I am very active and the support my bra gives me allows me to still enjoy my sports. People used to look and stare but now nobody pays any attention anymore!! The comfort is way worth it than what anyone thinks..

    • profile image

      sora_23 

      8 years ago

      im 25 and due to a major hormonal imbalance i fill out a 40DDD and ive been wearing a bra since i was 14 when my breasts started growing. over the years ive learnd to live with them and come to terms with it. at this point i don't have a problem wearing a bikini top to the pool, its not my problem what others think.

    • profile image

      Centaur12 

      9 years ago

      I've had breasts since I was 10 years old. I needed to wear brassieres ever since then. My Gynecomastia is currently a 44D cup and I think I'm still growing! I have no problem wearing a bra or a woman's swimsuit in public, but not all dudes are used to this. My sympathy goes out to the guys who are going through this; been there, done that! You're not alone guys (there are those of us who understand...)

    • fran-gerry profile image

      fran-gerry 

      9 years ago

      I just returned from my doctors visit. I was telling her how I missed going swimming. she said why don't you wear a women's swimsuit, you will be much less noticed than if you wore a mans swimsuit. She went on to say that the purpose of bras are to support breasts female or male,so wear it and don't worry about what people think! That is their problem.

    • fran-gerry profile image

      fran-gerry 

      9 years ago

      I have worn a bra for 6 years,when my doctor sent me for a fitting. It is such a relief to wear a proper fitting bra 38C ( same size as my wife) I no longer try to hide the fact that I am wearing one. I have noticed that people no longer give me a second look

    • profile image

      Me 

      9 years ago

      I don't believe that a doctor would give medication that would make a man grow to 42DDD. Breast growth takes years, especially to this size.

    • profile image

      Guywithgyno 

      9 years ago

      I developed gynecomastia as a teenager and only came to terms with having breasts now that I'm in my 50"s. I started wearing a bra, 38B, a few years ago and really appreciate the support. Glad to see people are becoming more aware and understanding about guys with breasts and why we wear bras.

    • profile image

      Jake 

      9 years ago

      i am 20 and would like to have male breasts is there anything to grow breasts in men

    • profile image

      Keith 

      10 years ago

      My earlier note says I wear one all the time now. I even have started wearing a Shimmel at Gym (a vest with internal fitted bra). My boobs need support. I am of the opinion that in time bras will be perfectly normal for men. Incidently I got measured properly at my local Debenhams who were happy to supply me. I don't even worry now about the bra showing through shirts. The drooping boobs looke worse.

    • profile image

      Keith 

      10 years ago

      Yes some men do need bras I do and wear 1 all the time now

    • profile image

      bra need 

      10 years ago

      My breasts started to develop when I was only 12 because of a hormonal umbalance and, despite of the pills prescribed by my doctor, they reached an embarassing full c cup. Because I can't afford the expenses of a surgery, instead the need to wear a bra is a little humiliating for a man, bra is a necessity for me stopping my breasts bouncing.

    • profile image

      10 years ago

      I have at last had the courage and got mesured properly for a bra. I was wearing the right size. My moobs hang down without and I feel lost without one

    • profile image

      man boobs 

      10 years ago

      hello folks yes i have breast started developing many years ago finally went to my doctor who told me they were the results of side affects of medicine he was giving me and they will probably get larger ,a year later and 38dd with the pain i was having he gave me 2 choices removal of my breast or get a bra fitting and wear it he said if it were him he would never have the surgery so now today as i fill a 42ddd bra i wear one every day as i have for several years under my male clothes and due to the discomfort i must sleep in one

    • LatexLeah profile image

      LatexLeah 

      10 years ago

      Gravity and Time take their toll. I find as I've aged, I have acquired a certain "bounce" as I jog down the stairs. Maybe it is time for a bra, even as dressed as a guy.

      The things you don't learn on the Internet.

    • profile image

      10 years ago

      I completely agree My breasts need support and I wear, and fill, a 42B bra. I wear it most of the time and feel pefectly normal in doing so. I used to have shoulder pain at times!

    • profile image

      Matthew 

      10 years ago

      I found this article helpful. I am male, adult, and not overweight, but over the past three years my chest has gone from being flat to a full A cup. Last year my doctor diagnosed a hormonal imbalance and said that my chest can't shrink and might grow further. As my chest has grown, I have noticed movement and discomfort more and more often. As a result, I am wearing a bra more and more often. Denial did not make my breast growth disappear, but wearing a bra makes it easier to deal with. So did this article.

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