When aspiring dads get the symptoms of pregnancy

Two expectant parents wake up with nauseaCouvade's syndrome is a condition in which men with pregnant partners begin to experience pregnancy symptoms. The causes of Couvade syndrome are not fully understood, although there are several theories. This situation has not been recognized as a medical or mental health issue.

What are sympathy pregnancies?

A pregnancy of sympathy occurs when the partner of a pregnant woman experiences pregnancy symptoms. Couvade syndrome, when it occurs in men, may also be referred to as pregnant daddy syndrome, pregnancy pregnancy for men or sympathetic pregnancy.

Although the symptoms may vary, they usually include some combination of the following:

  • Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Back pain, leg cramps
  • Changes in appetite, weight gain
  • Toothache
  • Respiratory issues
  • Issues with urination or genital discomfort
  • Symptoms of anxiety or depression
  • Anxiety, insomnia, other changes in sleep habits
  • Decreased libido

Symptoms of this condition usually occur in the first trimester around the third month of pregnancy. They are temporarily improved in the second quarter, in most cases, and return to the third quarter. As soon as the baby is born, the symptoms usually disappear.

Symptoms Pregnancy Pregnancy Pregnancy Pregnancy Pregnancy

A similar situation called pseudo-cover, or fantastic pregnancy, can be confused with Couvade's syndrome. However, pseudo-cover has been recognized as a mental health problem. Appears in its fifth version Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a disorder of body symptoms.

Pseudocysseus, a somewhat rare condition, appears more often in Africa than in Europe or America. Women with this condition are convinced that they are pregnant when they are not. You may experience pregnancy symptoms such as:

  • Swollen breasts and stomach
  • Luminous periods or no periods
  • Morning sickness
  • Feeling itchy
  • Labor pains at the scheduled expiration date (this only occurs in 1% of cases)

Research has suggested several possible causes for fantastic pregnancies. Some cases may arise from the intense desire to become pregnant, and this happens more often among couples who suffer from infertility. Other cases may occur due to intense fear of getting pregnant. Some studies have shown that pseudo-cover can develop in the context of depression and its accompanying endocrine changes.

What Causes Couvade Syndrome?

Some theories attempt to explain how Couvade syndrome develops. One or more of these factors may contribute to the occurrence of Couvade syndrome, although doctors still do not know why some men are developing the condition.


Body symptoms are really physical symptoms that result from emotional distress. It is common for young parents to feel anxious or anxious about the birth of their child, no matter how excited or happy they feel. It is believed that feelings of anxiety or stress can lead to physical symptoms that resemble those of pregnancy.

Being a parent also marks a change in the role of the adult in society. This can also lead to feelings of anxiety and anxiety, whether or not he realizes it. Researchers have suggested to some men to show pregnancy symptoms as a way of unconsciously addressing how they feel about their new responsibilities and the changes they will experience.

Changes in hormone levels

Some research has shown that men whose partners are pregnant may experience hormonal changes, such as decreased testosterone and increased estradiol. It is possible that these hormonal changes may contribute to many symptoms of Couvade's syndrome.

Feeling of attachment

Men who are more involved in a partner's pregnancy and have more involvement in the embryo (hearing heartbeat, feeling motion and so on) may be more likely to experience pregnancy symptoms. Taking part in pregnancy-related events and taking part in birth preparations can lead some men to feel closer to their unborn child and to more strongly identify the role of the father. This can lead to sympathetic pregnancy symptoms, according to some experts.

Psychosocial causes

Some doctors believe that Couvade's syndrome is related to mental health. Frequent explanations for symptoms include:

  • Jealousy of a partner's ability to become pregnant and to give birth
  • Guilty to get their partner pregnant
  • A sense of competition in the role of motherhood

However, these are only potential theories, and no one has been proven in research.

How Common Is Couvade Syndrome?

Men all over the world know Couvade syndrome. Studies have found different rates in different parts of the world, but the most recent statistics suggest that Couvade syndrome occurs in about 25% to 52% of men in the United States who have pregnant partners. Although Couvade syndrome appears quite common, studies on the situation to date have focused on male partners of pregnant women. Very little research has looked at the Couvade syndrome in LGBTQ + couples.

Men all over the world know Couvade syndrome.While serious symptoms may occur, many have only a few mild symptoms. Since the symptoms disappear after childbirth almost in all cases, this situation may remain largely unnoticed. But some men may feel confused, worried or otherwise struggling for their symptoms. Healthcare professionals have found that it can help to briefly explain the situation to men who feel discomfort and let them know that Couvade's syndrome is not unusual. It can also be reassuring to know that Couvade syndrome is often described as a reaction to changes in pregnancy and fertility, they are not an indication of a mental health problem or other anxiety.

Can Couvade Syndrome Be Cured?

Because symptoms are solved by themselves and generally are not a threat or harm, special treatment for men who have Couvade syndrome is not recommended. However, there are several strategies that can help reduce symptoms.

Some men find meditation, yoga and similar approaches to help them feel more relaxed. Treatment can help people with symptoms of depression or anxiety as part of the Couvade syndrome. It can also cure pre-existing anxiety-enhanced diagnoses.

Medication, including herbs, can help with the treatment of body symptoms such as nausea or pain. Some men may experience sympathetic pains at work, with whom they can also help with medicines.

Remember that you are not alone. If you are struggling with your feelings about maternity or experiencing symptoms that you do not understand, a trained therapist can help you work through them. Reach today!

Bibliographical references:

  1. American Psychiatric Society. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association. 327.
  2. Brennan, A., Ayers, S., Ahmed, H., & Marshall-Lucette, S. (2007). A Critical Review of Couvade's Syndrome: The Pregnant Male. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 25(3), 173-189. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2007-11728-002
  3. Devi, A. M., & Chanu, M. P. (2015). Couvade syndrome. International Journal of Nursing Education and Research, 3(3). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Akoijam_Devi2/publication/286313694_7_IJNER_165_-28-05-2015DE/links/5667b26c08aea62726ee986a/7-IJNER-165-28-05-2015DE.pdf
  4. Hall-Flavin, D.K. (2016, August 25). What can you tell me about the couvade? Can men really experience sympathetic pregnancy symptoms? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/couvade-syndrome/faq-20058047
  5. Ibekwe, P. C., & Achor, J. U. (2008). Psychosocial and cultural aspects of pseudo-cover. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 50(2). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738334
  6. Klein, H. (1991). Couvade Syndrome: Male contraceptives in pregnancy. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 21(1), 57-69. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2066258
  7. Piechowski-Jozwiak, B., & Bogousslavsky, J. (2018). Couvade Syndrome – a custom, behavior or illness? The boundaries of neurology and neuroscience, 42(1), 51-58. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29151091
  8. Tarin, J.J., Hermenegildo, C., García-Pérez, M.A., & Cano, A. (2013). Endocrinology and physiology of pseudo-cover. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 11(39). Retrieved from https://rbej.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1477-7827-11-39

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