‘My oestrogen levels were all over the place’: when men have ‘sympathy pregnancies’
Kirsten, 22, knew something strange was happening at about eight weeks into her pregnancy. The classic first trimester symptoms, such as weight gain, food aversions and nausea, were all arriving as expected – but she wasn’t the only one affected.
Her partner, Silas, 23, was experiencing similar physical shifts. He started gaining weight and felt repelled by familiar foods. As Kirsten’s morning sickness took hold, he was struck with equally debilitating nausea. “I felt sick every day for weeks,” he says.
Initially, Kirsten was sceptical. She worried that Silas’s symptoms were an elaborate joke, or that he was being insensitive. “But, as time went on, I realised he was truly suffering,” she says. “The nausea was the worst of it. He had it much worse than I did. I ended up sharing my morning sickness medication with him so he could get through the day.”
Dr Robin Edelstein, a psychologist from the University of Michigan, has studied these hormonal shifts in expectant fathers. The lower testosterone, she suggests, may be to blame for some of the symptoms. “Lower testosterone is associated with weight gain and depression,” she says. “It could [also] make men more supportive and more invested in their relationship, and more prepared to become a parent.”
Read the full article at The Guardian.