It’s not just expectant mothers who undergo fluctuating hormones. Men’s testosterone and estradiol levels dip while their partners are pregnant, new data shows.
It looks like sympathy pregnancy weight may not be too far-fetched an idea.
Men experience hormonal changes before their partner gives birth — just like moms-to-be do, according to new research in the American Journal of Human Biology.
Researchers studied the saliva of 29 couples expecting their first child. They measured each partner’s testosterone (a male hormone), cortisol (a stress hormone), estradiol (a form of estrogen, a female hormone) and progesterone (a different female hormone) at weeks 12, 20, 28 and 36.
Over the course of the study, there were increases in all four hormones in women, and decreases in testosterone and estradiol in men.
But the data wasn’t compared with non-expectant couples, so it’s unclear just how much change took place.
The researchers don’t know exactly why the dips occur in guys, but previous research has suggested that the softer side that develops when a man becomes a father could also develop when his wife is pregnant.
Or, it could be that lower testosterone is a result of a lack of sleep or sex that may come with pregnancy. The sheer overwhelming nature of becoming a father could impact testosterone levels as well.