The production of testosterone in the body is governed by both physiological and psychological factors. This includes major lifestyle changes such as becoming a father. The effects of having children on testosterone levels is something that is surprising and something that should not be taken lightly. There are many studies conducted on the matter and they all have the same conclusion.
Testosterone levels during fatherhood
There have been studies that shown a correlation between having children and a drop in testosterone levels in men. But a recent research done in France has conclusively proved that most men show a drop of about 34 % in their blood testosterone levels after they become parents. And these levels did not get back to the pre-fatherhood levels in most men that participated in the study.
The adverse effects of low testosterone levels in younger as well as older men are well known. Hence it is essential to combat such changes before they become permanent.
But before one tries to reverse the effects that fatherhood has on testosterone levels, it is important to understand the reasons why such changes happen. Once this becomes a less of a mystery, changes the adverse effects can be a bit easier.
The factors that play a role in the reduction of testosterone after fatherhood
It is no secret that raising a child is not an easy task. Parents experience a drastic change in lifestyle right from day one of becoming parents. And this has been shown to cause a reduction in blood testosterone levels in men.
Lack of sleep
A solid 7 to 8 hours of good sleep is essential to maintain optimum testosterone levels in men. And most parents do not get much for the first few years after their child being born. This not only affects testosterone production, but leads to other health issues as well.
While there is no sure-fire solution to this issue, some steps can be taken to prevent too much sleep deprivation.
Lack of exercise
As parenthood is a full time job in itself, very few men have time to keep to their exercise schedule post fatherhood. It is known that exercise is essential for the optimum production of testosterone. And a few years of almost no exercise can majorly hamper testosterone levels.
Erratic eating habits
Very few parents bother about their own eating habits after having children. They do not pay attention to meal times, often skipping meals. In fact, many parents do not cook for themselves at home. Hence they end up ordering takeout.
It has been proved that processed foods reduce testosterone levels due to the additives and preservatives that they contain. And food that is heated in the microwave in plastic or melamine containers has many estrogenic compounds in it, which are residues left behind from the containers. This leads to further reduction in testosterone levels.
The effects of stress on libido and sex hormone production is well established. Raising a child can be stressful, to say the least and this can be a major factor in reduction of testosterone levels in men during fatherhood.
A study performed in the Northwestern University in the United States has shown that men are biologically governed to care for their offspring. As a result, they can show reduction in testosterone levels, which increases the probability of monogamy and thus increases the chances of the father being a part of the upbringing of the child.
But it has to be shown conclusively that lowered testosterone levels reduces the chances of straying before such a conclusion can be made.
Does a lowered blood testosterone level really benefit a father?
There is no proof available that lowered testosterone levels aid any aspect of fatherhood; it has been shown conclusively that reduced blood testosterone levels are detrimental to men of all ages. So it is not advisable to let this dip remain unchecked. It is best to take precautions to avoid this change to lead a more healthful life.
There are many things that fathers or to-be fathers can do to thwart the hormonal changes that fatherhood entails. Some of them are enlisted below.
Getting sleep whenever possible
It may seem impossible when there is a new baby in the house, but all fathers should try to get as much sleep as possible. From power naps in the afternoon to rest at night, it is advisable to get as much sleep as possible.
Men should not think that the extra 30 or 40 minutes of sleep do not matter, they do and hence fathers should gradually try getting back to normal sleeping routine.
Neglecting one’s diet is not going to help the baby in any way. One should have a nutritious diet and avoid processed as much as possible. Adding 2 to3 servings of fresh fruits in one’s daily meal can be extremely useful.
Learning the art of cooking quick and healthy food can come in handy. The internet is full of such tips and tricks, or one can consider joining a class beforehand.
Keeping a strict exercise schedule
All to-be fathers should have a strict exercise regimen before the birth of their child. Thus, it won’t be hard to keep it up after the child is born and there isn’t too much time to train from scratch.
And including walks in one’s schedule or taking the stairs every day is some that all fathers can do.
The probability of a drop in testosterone levels during fatherhood cannot be altered; but this phenomenon can easily be reversed with a few simple lifestyle changes.