Fathers-to-Be May Have Hormonal Changes Too

Posted on January 9, 2015

Men waiting to become fathers for the first time experienced hormonal changes before their babies were born, and levels of some hormones appeared linked to those of the men's wives, according to a new study.

The expectant fathers showed drops in testosterone and estradiol - a form of estrogen - but no changes in cortisol or progesterone, two hormones that are implicated in stress, say the authors.

Past research has suggested that new fathers have lower levels of testosterone, but it wasn't known when the decline begins.

"The previous studies have shown that men with children have lower testosterone than men who don't have children," said Robin Edelstein, who led the new study.

Her team's results are the first to show those hormonal changes might actually begin early in the pregnancy, said Edelstein, a psychologist and director of the Personality, Relationships, and Hormones lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"That's what I think is interesting - that it's not about having the baby there (physically) but that there may be some process happening even when just thinking about becoming a father," she said.

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Category(s):Pregnancy & Birthing

Source material from Scientific American