Fatherhood and Low Testosterone: Is There a Connection?

It is commonplace for new moms to experience hormonal fluctuations, due to the estrogen surge that happens at the beginning of pregnancy and lasts through the next nine months, but do new dads notice a shift in hormone levels as well?

According to a 2014 study from the University of Michigan, fathers can not only start showing a decrease once their babies are born, but sometimes can even show a drop in testosterone levels during their partners pregnancy. While experts don’t know exactly what causes the dip, it could be Mother Nature’s way of transforming men into fathers.

 

Mother Nature’s Testosterone Plan

“Testosterone is the hormone that drives men to be more aggressive and seek out sex, so reduced testosterone levels make guys more stable, less likely to spread their seed elsewhere,” New York-based sex therapist Dr. Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First.

Because of the evolution of humans, when we have a pregnant partner or are already a father, it is more natural to be less incentivized to stray. But there’s more to low T than just becoming a father.

 

Causes of Post-Baby Low Testosterone

Along with your new baby comes a lot of new responsibilities and less time for activities that keep your health and testosterone levels up. These factors can contribute to a loss in sex drive and sperm production. In this event, it may be best to visit a Philadelphia urologist to talk to your doctor about testosterone replacement therapy.

Gaining weight:

With less free time to hit the gym or go for a bike ride, new dads might find themselves gaining a few extra pounds. But if his BMI qualifies as overweight or obese, testosterone can nosedive. When testosterone decreases it is replaced with estrogen, which is made by fat cells. Therefore the more fat cells there are, the more testosterone is affected.

Not sleeping enough:

We all know that babies don’t tend to sleep to a normal adult sleep schedule. “If your sleep is disrupted or you don’t get enough on a regular basis, it causes changes in sleep hormones that can lower testosterone,” says Dr. Joseph Alukal, assistant professor of urology at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Excessive stress:

Caring for a newborn can be stressful no matter how adorable they are. This can cause elevated stress hormone cortisol, which can affect a man’s testosterone. With lower testosterone comes lower sex drive, which is a body’s way of saying right now might not be the best time to have another baby.

 

While lowered testosterone can be a side effect of new parenthood it is something to keep an eye on. Low T can come with its own side effects, such as depressed mood, low sex drive, low energy, and could lead to erectile dysfunction.

If it is determined that your testosterone levels are low, the physicians at Philadelphia Urology Associates can work with you to find the low T treatment that works best for you.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our Philadelphia urologists, call (215) 563-1199 or contact us online.

 

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