For a long time, there have been questions about whether or not men can produce breast milk, knowing that it is the mothers’ responsibility to do this. However, experts and evidence have demonstrated that men CAN produce breast milk.
While it is an odd phenomenon, it is possible in limited circumstances since men’s breasts and hormones are not designed to produce milk, but only under certain conditions.
In both women and men, breast tissue contains hollow cavities called alveoli connected to the cells that secrete milk, though they only do so when prolactin levels, which are produced by the pituitary gland, rise.
Prolactin levels vary according to a woman’s pregnancy status but can increase up to tenfold during and after pregnancy in some women.
Reasons why men produce milk
- Abnormal growth of the pituitary gland, prolactinoma, can lead to milk production in men. The symptoms of this tumor include impotence, headaches, decreased libido, breast enlargement, hypopituitarism, vision impairment, and milk production.
- During pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone are released by women into the bloodstream and can also stimulate the mammary glands of men.
- Medications used by cancer patients can also cause it, such as reflux control drugs, antidepressants, tranquilizers, or those used by those with prostate cancer.
- Many cases have been documented where fathers have fed their infants after the mother has died or because she is sick.
- We also found some cases among survivors of concentration camps who had spent several months starving. After receiving adequate nutrition, those glands were faster to recover than their livers, which metabolize hormones. Overproduction of hormones and milk production occurred.
- Liver disease such as liver cirrhosis causes this organ to stop working correctly to metabolize hormones. Diseases affecting the pituitary gland hinder the production of prolactin in men, making them produce milk.
- Malnutrition, stress, and hormonal imbalances can also affect the pituitary gland.
- Many conditions are not illnesses, such as stimulating the mammary glands through massage, suction, or aspiration.