Skip to main content

Gynecomastia is a disorder that can be seen mostly in men and sometimes in women. This disorder, which causes the enlargement and sensitivity of the breasts, occurs due to reasons such as side effects of drugs and abnormalities in hormone levels. To detect this problem a doctor’s examination is definitely required.

Among the methods doctors use to diagnose there is also gynecomastia pinch test. So, what is the pinch test, how is it done and how is it evaluated?

What Is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is the abnormal growth of breast tissue that occurs due to hormonal imbalance. The main reason is abnormal conditions in the hormone level. However, it can be seen depending on genetics, age, some drugs, past diseases and abuse of anabolic steroids.

Gynecomastia is usually seen in men. However, it is known that it can be also seen in women, adolescents, and even infants. Gynecomastia seen in infants and adolescence usually resolves without the need for any treatment. Treatments such as hormone therapy and gynecomastia surgery are applied to people with non-spontaneous and irregular breast growth.


What Causes Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is related to different causes of hormone change generally occurs due to changes in the level of testosterone, the male hormone, and estrogen, the female hormone. But, there may be other reasons as well.

It is known that this disorder can occur due to the use of cannabis, heroin and anabolic steroids. It can also develop due to the side effects of certain drugs such as antibiotics, antidepressants, chemotherapy and cardiovascular drugs. The other reasons are:

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Poor nutrition
  • Adolscence
  • Testicular neoplasms
  • Deficiency of male sex hormones
  • Nephropathy and overactive thyroid
  • Obesity
  • Lung cancer
  • Liver diseases
  • Hypophysis and tumor of the adrenal glands

It should be noted that most of the reasons mentioned here have a direct or indirect effect on hormone levels.

Read Also: What Are The Diseases That May Cause Gynecomastia?


What Are The Symptoms Of Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia, classified as four grades by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, can occur in adolescents and adults. This disease has its own symptoms. These symptoms are as follows:


  • Swollen or painful breasts
  • Moving tissue under the nipple
  • Abnormal changes in sexual urges
  • Sudden feeling of not being well
  • Itching under armpit and nipple
  • Breast milk-like fluid coming out of the breasts
  • Bloody discharge from nipple

If there is no other symptom other than flexible breast tissue and swelling, this usually indicates pseudogynecomastia. At this stage, gynecomastia can be diagnosed by using the pinch test.


How To Diagnose?

For diagnosis, the person’s medical history is examined first, and then a physical examination is performed. In addition to these, a series of tests may be done to rule out other disease possibilities and to clarify the diagnosis. At this stage;

  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests, including hormone studies
  • Liver function tests
  • Mammogram (breast x-ray)
  • Biopsy (can be done to see if there are cancer cells)

Sometimes, the diagnosis can be made directly with the data obtained from the symptoms and physical examination. In such cases, the above tests are not needed. You may also be referred by your doctor to a specialist endocrinologist to understand how the condition affects hormones and other organs.

Read Also: Is It Possible to Get Rid of Gynecomastia with Only Exercise?


Gynecomastia Pinch Test

When you come for the examination, a pinch test will be performed by your doctor as part of the physical evaluation. First, your doctor, who wants you to lie on your back, will then examine the breast tissue with their thumb and forefinger. In this examination, it is aimed to detect the presence of a hard mass consisting of mobile and disc-shaped tissue located directly under the aerosol. If such tissue is present, it is a real palpable gynecomastia sign, if it is not, it is considered pseudogynecomastia.

Do Your Gynecomastia Pinch Test

The gynecomastia pinch test is one of the most effective ways to detect this disease. The basis of this technique being so effective is that it starts from the hard-to-reach area of the chest and continues the test by moving down.

This test can also be expressed as a physical test in which the doctor squeezes the nipple until it hurts and then releases it. If the person has gynecomastia, they will make a sound directly, which is an important indicator that the pain receptors in the nipple are stimulated. If there is no gynecomastia, the person does not feel any pain.

In order to perform the test, the patient is asked to pinch the skin. If the patient can pinch the relevant tissue and encounters a hard tissue, it means that there is gynecomastia. Otherwise, there is no gynecomastia and no treatment is needed.

Gynecomastia is known as the enlargement of male breasts. But, the source of the growth must be the breast tissue. Some people’s breasts become enlarged due to lubrication. This test is done to clarify the situation that has occurred. The situation can be clarified in just a few seconds with this non-invasive, or non-surgical method.

In addition to this test, different controls are also made. Some of these controls are:

  • Checking whether there is any discharge from the nipples.
  • Breast tissue is evaluated.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpits and breast are examined.
  • The testicles are evaluated.

After all the evaluations, the final decision is made.

How to Increase the Accuracy of the Test?

To increase the accuracy of this test and to get the best results, doctors try the test both on themselves and on their patients. Doctors, placing their thumbs on the neck area, compress the nipple. If the compressed area is harder than the rest of the skin, it means there is gynecomastia.

What To Do If The Pinch Test Is Positive?

As a result of the pinch test, it is understood that the relevant area is harder than the other parts of the skin and if pain occurs during pinching, there is gynecomastia. However, it should be noted that this test only detects the presence of disease and does not give an idea about its level.

If the result of the test is positive, you can contact your doctor to get rid of this problem. Depending on your situation, a surgical procedure may be recommended. But, if you do not like the surgical procedure, different treatments can be applied depending on the degree of the disease.

TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) may be preferred, which helps to reduce the symptoms of gynecomastia other than the surgical procedure. Another option at this stage is to take a break from activities that lead to worsening of gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia Pinch Test FAQS

Frequently asked questions about the gynecomastia pinch test and their answers are listed below.

How To Pinch Test?

It is done by pinching the skin a few inches below the nipple. If the skin is easily pinched, the test is positive and there is gynecomastia.

How to Tell Whether Gynecomastia or Fat?

The growth in the breast area can be caused by fat as well as from gynecomastia. The simplest and quickest way to find out is to look at the nipple. If the nipple looks like a raisin, it’s because of the fat. If it looks flat and has a dimple in the middle, it is because of gynecomastia.

How to Assess the Pinch Test?

Symptoms of gynecomastia include breast asymmetry and unexpected change in nipple size. There are several different methods for the evaluation of gynecomastia. The definitive diagnosis at this point is obtained by mammography and ultrasound. With these, clearer data will be obtained and the evaluation will be much healthier.

Read Also: Which Questions Should I Ask My Doctor About Gynecomastia Surgery?


Schedule a Consultation with Our Expert Doctors

The gynecomastia pinch test is a very simple technique and gives you important insights into your condition in a short time. The permanent solution of this common problem today is usually through surgical methods. With the procedure to be performed by a surgeon who is an expert in the field, the breast growth is permanently corrected and the appearance problem in this area is eliminated.

Dr. Caglar and Dr. Batu - Cosmeticium

For successful results, it is very important to choose experienced and specialist surgeons. COSMETICIUM offers treatments that will allow you to get rid of this problem permanently with its experienced surgeons and high success rate. Like hundreds of gynecomastia patients before, you can choose our clinic and get rid of this problem completely. Contact us for detailed information.


Fill In The Form Below To Get Answers To All Your Questions About Gynecomastia From Our Doctors Within Hours. (FREE)