Testosterone Levels Drop In Expectant Fathers
Everyone knows that women go through significant hormonal changes during pregnancy to prepare them for carrying the baby and for motherhood. But are human males also “wired” to become less aggressive and more nurturing when they are expectant fathers?
A new study would seem to indicate the answer is “yes.” Researchers with the University of Michigan have found that testosterone levels drop in expectant fathers as their mate’s pregnancy progresses.
There have been previous studies that have found that testosterone levels in fathers drop after the birth of a baby, but this is the first study to indicate that testosterone levels also decrease in fathers-to-be.
The study was published in the American Journal of Human Biology. What accounts for the measurable drop is not fully understood. Lead researcher on the project, Robin Edelstein, speculated, “These changes could be a function of psychological changes that men experience as they prepare to become fathers, changes in their romantic relationships, or even physical changes that men experience along with their pregnant partners.”
The 29 men in the study were tested at the 18th, 24th, and 36th week of their partner’s pregnancies. Throughout the period researchers found that their levels or other hormones such as progesterone and cortisol remained the same. However they saw significant declines in the hormones testosterone and estradiol which are linked to aggression, parental care and bonding.
The study is interesting, but the researchers admit that other factors besides being expectant fathers could account for testosterone decline, such as normal aging.
And while a decline in testosterone levels under the circumstances of becoming a new father, could have some positive effects, the other changes that occur in men as testosterone levels decrease overtime, could be a lot less desirable.
Testosterone and Aging
Men lose testosterone as they age. Your peak testosterone production is in your 20s. After that, levels of production slowly drop. This decrease in testosterone levels contributes to a condition known as male menopause or “andropause.”
The symptoms of “Low-T” or andropause can include:
- Poor Sleep
- Loss of muscle tone and weight gain
- Mood swings
- Sexual Health Issues and/or erectile dysfunction
Testosterone and Erectile Dysfunction
Many men experience “trouble in the bedroom,” as they get older. In fact studies have shown that more than 40% of men over 35 have experienced erectile dysfunction of some type at one time or another. There can be a number of causes of erectile dysfunction, but often low testosterone is a contributor to the problem.
Men experiencing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, or ED have problems achieving or maintaining an erection.
Testosterone the so-called male “sex hormone,” is responsible for sexual arousal, and therefore is related to erections, but the direct relationship is not entirely understood.
What is known for sure is that low testosterone is more specifically related to sex drive or libido, than it is to erectile dysfunction. In other words, men with low testosterone may not have a physical problem getting an erection, they just have a decreased interest in sex.
In any case, what this all goes to show is that erectile dysfunction, and all sexual wellness issues in men can be complex, and may require testosterone replacement therapy or a combination of therapies to achieve results.
That is why it is so important that issues with erectile dysfunction not be ignored. First of all, erectile dysfunction could be related to a more serious medical problem such as diabetes, high blood pressure, even prostate cancer. More importantly, there are many available treatment options for erectile dysfunction, from oral ED medications, to hormone replacement, to new and proprietary treatments such as the Gains Enhancement for Men.
- Are you, or have you recently been an expectant Dad, do you find this drop in testosterone, and rise in more “nurturing behaviors” to be true?
- If you had the symptoms of low-T, would you consider testosterone replacement therapies?