According to some research, men with lower levels of testosterone are better fathers with more empathy and less aggression. Studies prove these hormonal changes are a positive thing.
Medical research indicates it’s not the number of kids a man has, the kind of person he is or the kind of father he wants to be that indicates the type of parent he’ll be. It’s his testosterone levels that predetermine his ability to parent. In fact, it’s possible these changes for men begin when their wives are pregnant. It’s common knowledge women experience a plethora of these changes throughout the course of pregnancy. From cravings to mood swings to sudden sensitivity to virtually anything, it’s something medical professionals believe men also experience.
Hormonal Changes in Men
During pregnancy, women experience a major increase in many hormones. Their testosterone, cortisol, estradiol and progesterone all increase substantially over the course of their pregnancy, which is not uncommon. This occurs when changes in the body are brought on by pregnancy and no one questions them. However, when a study conducted by an associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor showed that men’s hormones also change with their wives it was fascinating.
During the study, the men’s level of hormones also changed. Unlike women’s hormones increasing significantly, men experienced a rather dramatic decrease in both their estradiol and testosterone and no change in the other two hormones. How is it possible a man’s hormones drop or don’t change at all while his wife’s are through the roof with different levels of increase through their pregnancy?
What This Means
Medically speaking, this means very little right now. There is nothing but this to go on at the moment and many other researchers are still working on what this means or working to get to a point they can further study the concept of these changes in men. What it does mean, though, is many men have a lower level of testosterone when their wives are pregnant and give birth. This is believed to cause men to become better fathers. More testosterone often leads to more aggression, which is not a positive trait in any parent.
Do not confuse this with low testosterone. Men who do experience this decrease in their testosterone levels are not considered low. They’re just lower, and that’s a good thing. Until more research is done on the subject, the best people can do now is speculate that the sympathetic pregnancy symptoms men experience are real.
If you’ve never heard of couvade syndrome, you’re not alone. It’s the official term for a sympathetic pregnancy. If you’ve ever heard men joking they gain weight with their pregnant wives and even suffer some of the same symptoms, you know what couvade syndrome is. Some of the most common symptoms of this include weight gain, stress levels and men become more sensitive.
Women gain weight during pregnancy. Pregnancy weight is not the same as regular weight gain. It serves a purpose, which is to grow and protect a baby. However, men might experience this, too. Women are more emotional during their pregnancies. Their hormones are raging all over the place, which means they often cannot control what suddenly makes them cry or laugh, and their reactions are sometimes inappropriate given what’s going on. Men’s hormones change, too, and it makes them more sensitive and less aggressive. They might not cry at commercials, but they’re more emotional.
Another change in men during pregnancy is stress, but it’s difficult to pinpoint that one sometimes. It’s stressful to welcome a new baby into a family. There’s lost sleep, worry about your wife going through childbirth, financial worries about raising a kid and all the other stress that comes with growing your family. This means it’s not always easy to tell if it’s the hormonal changes his wife is experiencing or just the common fears everyone has as their lives change so dramatically.
Having a baby is an exciting event in anyone’s lives, and many men are more sensitive to the needs of their wives during this time. It’s not unusual, but it usually means a man is more sensitive to the needs of his child as well. It’s a lovely change, and it’s not one anyone should worry will occur.