Expectant dads experience hormonal changes

19 December 2014

A new study has found that men who are expecting a child also demonstrate significant changes in hormone levels, much like women.

In one of the most extensive investigation of prenatal hormones in first-time expectant couples, researchers found that men showed significant prenatal declines in testosterone and estradiol. In contrast, females demonstrated a large prenatal increases in salivary testosterone, cortisol, estradiol, and progesterone.

This is significant as the results in women were largely expected, but the findings suggest that impending fatherhood triggers a hormone change in men as well.

"Other studies have shown that men's hormones change once they become fathers, but our findings suggest that these changes may begin even earlier, during the transition to fatherhood," said Dr Robin Edelstein, lead author of the American Journal of Human Biology study. 

She said it is not yet known exactly why men's hormones are changing, but it is speculated that it could be part of the psychological changes that help men prepare themselves for fatherhood. 

Further research will need to be conducted to better understand if prenatal hormone changes can be linked to behaviour after the baby is born.

Posted by ​Edward Bartel

 

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