Couvade Syndrome Among Jordanian Expectant Fathers

Am J Mens Health. 2019 Jan-Feb;13(1):1557988318810243. doi: 10.1177/1557988318810243. Epub 2018 Nov 2.


Studies of different cultures have reported that expectant fathers experience physiological and psychological changes during their partner's pregnancy. These symptoms are classed as Couvade Syndrome (sympathetic pregnancy) symptoms. The main aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Couvade Syndrome among Jordanian expectant fathers. A descriptive quantitative research design that utilized the Men's Health During Partners' Pregnancy (MHDPP) questionnaire was employed to collect data from three Maternal and Child Health Care Centers in public hospitals. A total of 449 participants completed the questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the characteristics of the sample and the main variables. Chi-square tests were conducted to find the relationship between the pregnancy trimester and the specific Couvade Syndrome symptom. Jordanian expectant fathers experienced high rates of Couvade Syndrome (59.1%). The prevalence of Couvade Syndrome among the participants is considered to be the highest reported rate when compared to the results of previous studies. This rate may be due to the tendency among men in Jordan to have a strong desire for children soon after marriage and to have a strong commitment to family life. With a better understanding of the expectant father's response to pregnancy, health-care providers would be better able to provide them with the necessary support and education. This could contribute to the health and well-being of expectant fathers and their families.

Keywords: Couvade Syndrome; expectant fathers; phantom pregnancy; sympathetic pregnancy; transition to parenthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developing Countries
  • Dissociative Disorders / epidemiology
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology*
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Jordan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Syndrome