What Are the Causes of Breast Enlargement?

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Breast enlargement is the occurrence of swelling in one or both of the breasts. It affects men and women equally. There are many reasons why people experience breast enlargement. Some of the causes could be related to diseases, but this is usually associated with other related symptoms. In order to determine the exact cause for breast enlargement, it is important to consult a physician first. But there are many general causes, some non-disease related, for breast enlargement.

Hormonal Causes for Women

One of the more typical causes for breast enlargement, particularly among women, is due to hormonal changes. Young girls who enter puberty will typically experience growth of the breasts. This is a normal part of the aging process for women. Women who enter the menstrual cycle will also experience a slight increase in breast size.

Pregnancy/Birth-Related Causes

Women who are pregnant and give birth will also experience enlargement of the breasts. Again, this is due to the hormonal changes women experience and is a common side effect of pregnancy. Women who breast-feed will also experience an increase in breast size. This is due mainly to milk-producing cells and milk ducts in the breasts that are activated once a woman gives birth. This is common for all types of women, regardless of breast size.

Disease-Related Causes

Some causes for breast enlargement are symptoms to more serious diseases or illnesses. For women, mastitis, a common infection among breastfeeding mothers, can cause the enlargement of one or both breast(s). For both women and men, breast abscess is a disease that might explain why they experience unusual breast enlargement. This is caused when pus fills abscesses in the breast, increasing its size. Another disease-related cause for breast enlargement is lymphatic obstruction. Lymphatic obstruction occurs when lymph vessels become blocked, causing at least one breast to become enlarged.

Medical Treatment Causes

Another cause for breast enlargement is due to the side effects of drugs or medical treatments. Women who take contraception pills will experience a slight increase in breast size. Women or men who take hormone replacement therapy will also experience slight breast enlargement in one or both breasts.

Male Breast Enlargement

There are specific reasons why men experience breast enlargement. Many of these causes are varied, sometimes related to symptoms of diseases, such as breast cancer, breast abscesses, hyperthyroidism; estrogen-producing tumors, and other breast-related diseases. But the more common causes for breast enlargement in men is due to aging. As men grow older, their ability to produce male hormones diminishes, thus causing an imbalance of estrogen-related hormones that will cause breast enlargement. This is a normal part of the aging process and is not a sign of more severe health-related issues.

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