Oxytocin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is involved in childbirth and breast-feeding.
It’s also associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building.
It’s occasionally referred to as “The love hormone” because levels of oxytocin increase during hugging and orgasm (climax).
It may also have benefits as a remedy for a number of conditions/ailments, including depression, anxiety, and intestinal issues.
It is produced in the hypothalamus (a part of the brain), Males usually have lower levels than females.
Some facts on oxytocin:
Here are some key facts:
- Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and released during sex, childbirth, and lactation to aid reproductive functions.
- Oxytocin is prescribed as a drug for obstetric and gynecological reasons and it also helps in childbirth.
- It’s physical and mental effects, such as influencing social behavior and emotion.
- Research shows that it may benefit individuals with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), nervousness, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
What is oxytocin?
Oxytocin is basically a neurotransmitter and a hormone produced in the hypothalamus.
From there, it’s hauled to and secreted from the pituitary gland, at the base of the brain.
It plays a role in the female reproductive functions, from sexual activity to breast and breastfeeding. Stimulation of the nipples activates its launch.
As the vagina and cervix begin to expand for labor, oxytocin is released. This extending increases as additional contractions occur.
It also has societal functions. It impacts bonding behavior, the production of team memories, social recognition, and other social roles.
Oxytocin as a medication:
It is employed as a prescription drug under the brand name Pitocin.
Under clinical supervision, an oxytocin injection may be used to start birth contractions or fortify them during labor, also it helps reduce bleeding following delivery.
Side effects include a rapid heartbeat and irregular bleeding.
If an excessive amount of oxytocin is delivered also quickly, it may cause a rupture of the uterus.
It may be used clinically to induce a termination or finish a miscarriage.
The love hormone?
In 2012, researchers noted that people in the very first stages of romantic attachment had higher amounts of this hormone, compared with non-attached single people.
These levels persisted for at least 6 weeks.
Sexual activity has been proven to trigger the release of oxytocin, and it seems to have a role in erection and orgasm.
The cause of this is not fully known, however, in girls, it may be that the increased uterine motility may help sperm to achieve their destination.
Some have suggested a correlation between the concentration of oxytocin and the level of orgasm.
Emotions and Oxytocin:
When oxytocin enters the blood, it affects the uterus and lactation, but when it’s released into certain parts of the mind, it can impact emotional, cognitive, and social behaviors.
One evaluation of research on oxytocin says the hormone’s effect on”pro-social behaviors” and emotional responses leads to relaxation, trust, and psychological stability.
Brain oxytocin also seems to decrease stress responses, including anxiety. These effects have been seen in several species.
The hormone has been described as”an important part of an intricate neurochemical system which allows the body to adapt to highly emotive scenarios.”
Is it simple?
In 2006, investigators reported finding elevated levels of oxytocin and cortisol among women who had”gaps within their social relationships” and more damaging connections with their primary partner.
The participants were all receiving hormone therapy (HT) after menopause.
Animal studies have discovered high levels of stress and oxytocin from voles which were separated from other voles. Clearly, the action isn’t straightforward.
A review printed in 2013 warns that oxytocin is very likely to have general rather than specific effects, and that oxytocin alone is not likely to affect”complex, high-order psychological processes that are particular to social cognition.”
The authors also point out that a willingness to collaborate is very likely to be pushed by nervousness in the first place.
But it does seem to be connected with social behavior, including maternal care, bonding between spouses, sexual behavior, social memory, and trust.
Delivering oxytocin via a nasal spray has enabled researchers to detect its effects on behavior.
In 2011, a study published in Psychopharmacology found that intranasal oxytocin improved self-perception in social situations and increased personality traits such as warmth, confidence, altruism, and openness.
In 2013, a study published in PNAS suggested that oxytocin may help keep men faithful to their partners, by activating the reward centers in the brain.
It was proposed as a possible treatment for social anxiety, autism, and postpartum depression.
Researchers have proposed that it might help improve social and individual health, which could have applications for individuals with some neuropsychiatric disorders.
They think it could help people who avoid social interaction, and those who experience persistent fear and an inability to trust others.
Kids with autism could gain from oxytocin, say some researchers.
In 2013, a little study indicated that oxytocin levels in the brain affected how 17 kids perceived a string of societal and non-social images.
It can also play a part in anger management.
In particular, differences in OXTR gene expression seem to affect the regulation of the connection between alcohol and competitive behavior.
This helps to promote the repair of intestinal injury and to protect against such injury.
If this is confirmed, oxytocin could be a useful treatment for preventing chemo-radiotherapy-induced gut harm, and it could be used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The role of oxytocin is complex and not easy to pin down.
Though it seems to enhance the forming of communities, it may also encourage the creation of”in-groups” and”out-groups,” contributing to envy, prejudice, and possibly aggression.
Participants in a 2014 study were prone to lie to the benefit of many others in the same group after getting oxytocin.
The findings, said researchers, could assist with”providing insight into when and why cooperation turns into corruption.”
More investigation is required to comprehend the complexity of oxytocin and what it does.
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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