Couvade Syndrome

What is Couvade Syndrome?

Couvade Syndrome is a condition wherein pregnancy is being mimicked, especially of the husband of an expectant woman. It has been found out that nearly 11 to 65 percent of those fathers-to-be experiences Couvade syndrome. For them, the feeling seems so real and they experience actual symptoms.

This is primarily thought to be psychosomatic in nature, that men are just concern with the massive bodily changes experienced by their partners. However, several studies that were conducted have discovered other causes for this. Men suffering from Couvade syndrome also experience nausea and vomiting, abdominal pains and other related symptoms as if these things were real. Cases of Couvade syndrome are seen in every culture and are suffered more by those who have a history of infertility. This is something that every man, especially those who are soon-to-be fathers, should know.

Couvade Syndrome Symptoms

Men who are believed to be suffering from Couvade syndrome can also feel the symptoms that pregnant women experience. The symptoms especially become more prominent during the first trimester but may last until the entire duration of the pregnancy. This is also the time that Couvade syndrome is particularly experienced by a man. Some of the symptoms that a man with Couvade syndrome may experience include the following:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Backaches
  • Changed sexual appetite
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Insomnia
  • Itchy Skin
  • Leg cramps
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Mood Swings
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Unexplained food cravings
  • Weight gain

The above mentioned symptoms have the tendency to affect even the brawniest man. There’s no need to worry though because these symptoms would just eventually subside in the long run.

Couvade Syndrome Causes

Until today, experts are still finding out the exact cause of Couvade syndrome because this phenomenon is still poorly understood. However, there are a number of things pointed out to be the possible causes of Couvade syndrome, including:


  • This may be just a ploy of some men to grab attention.
  • Others are convinced this is associated with anxiety, fear and stress of becoming a father.
  • An ambivalent feeling towards fatherhood
  • Pseudo-sibling rivalry
  • Identification with the fetus
  • Guilt for having impregnated the wife
  • Assertion of paternity
  • Envy of the woman’s capacity to bear a child
  • Empathizing with the woman for all the discomforts and pains experienced

Couvade syndrome has been found to be more common during the recent times, especially among Western countries. Overall, this is believed to be generally due to huge involvement of the father during the entire pregnancy process as they are encouraged to take active participation in it. Nonetheless, a more recent study has found out the changes in hormonal levels of men whose partners are pregnant. This is just one of the scientific explanations for the development of Couvade syndrome.

Couvade Syndrome Treatment

Couvade syndrome would just resolve on its own so you don’t really have to worry about it. This would gradually vanish as pregnancy reaches to term and completely disappear during childbirth. There’s no specific treatment for Couvade syndrome. However, there are things that an expectant father can do to prevent suffering from this condition. These include the following:

  • Totally embracing the idea of becoming a father
  • You can look for a support group and share your feelings and sentiments with another soon-to-be father
  • You could also strengthen the bond with your partner
  • Settle financial issues with regard raising a child

Most of all, it would be ideal if you talk to a doctor on this matter so you will be guided accordingly in deterring the development of Couvade syndrome.

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