All You Need To Know About Oxytocin

By: Joy Youell

Updated December 02, 2019

Medically Reviewed By: Tanya Harell

Known as the "love hormone," oxytocin is a hormone that's often associated with social bonding, sex, and childbirth. In fact, having the right balance of oxytocin can make a huge difference in sexual satisfaction. The prevalence of oxytocin also influences stress and maternal behavior. Read on to learn more about this important hormone and how it influences you.

Oxytocin Is The Happy Hormone. It Makes You Feel Wonderful. Read More.
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Oxytocin in Relationships

When we kiss or hug a loved one for as little as 20 seconds, the oxytocin hormone is stimulated, increasing the bond between two people. Even little gestures of affection can strengthen the bond between a couple; this might include holding hands, gentle kisses, and staring into each other's eyes. During sexual intercourse, however, a significant amount of oxytocin and dopamine is released. At the same time, the neural systems get linked, strengthening social bonding.

Oxytocin is also involved in social recognition. Researchers have found that oxytocin boosts a man's attraction to a woman. Similarly, they've found that seeing a photo of your partner can stimulate the oxytocin hormone. In other words, this little hormone has a big effect on your relationships. If you find that you have little or no romantic engagement, struggle sexually, or are not forging meaningful maternal bonds with a child, you may need to speak to your medical care providers about your oxytocin levels. Hormone therapies and other kinds of treatment are available.

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Oxytocin and Sex

Sex is an important element of relationships. As mentioned previously, sex can boost your oxytocin levels dramatically, and this hormone has been found to promote feelings of trust, love, and devotion. It also enhances feelings of closeness, which are the foundation of any relationship or marriage. In addition to being mood boosters, the oxytocin hormones and other endorphins that are released during sex and orgasms are beneficial for fighting conditions like depression and anxiety.

Before the release of oxytocin during sex, another chemical called dopamine is released in the brain. It's usually released when exercising or doing anything pleasurable, and it has many health benefits. It also makes a great pain and stress reliever.

Vasopressin vs. Oxytocin

Vasopressin and oxytocin are both considered to be love hormones, but oxytocin is released during an orgasm, and vasopressin is released after sex. Vasopressin is also known as an anti-diuretic hormone because it works with your kidneys to control thirst.

Oxytocin and Women

In general, oxytocin hormone levels are higher in women than in men because oxygen plays a role in childbearing and childbirth. These levels begin to increase before pregnancy, and oxytocin also regulates contractions during labor. (If a woman feels stressed and frightened during labor, adrenaline levels may cause oxytocin to decrease.) In addition, oxytocin and prolactin are released while a mother is breastfeeding, but oxytocin alone can also be released when the nipples are stimulated.

However, this doesn't mean that men don't release any oxytocin. As mentioned previously, both men and women release oxytocin during sexual intercourse and in other situations involving affection.

Oxytocin and The Brain

Oxytocin is a powerful hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. According to World of Molecules, ''oxytocin is made in magnocellular neurosecretory cells in the supraoptic nucleus and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and is released into the blood from the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland.'' However, secretion depends on the electrical activity of neurons in the hypothalamus because it's released into the blood when these cells are excited.

Estrogen has been found to increase the secretion of oxytocin and to increase the expression of the oxytocin receptor in the brain. In women in particular, a single dosage of estradiol has been found to increase circulating oxytocin concentrations. In addition to the brain, oxytocin also targets other organs; oxytocin receptors have been identified in other tissues, including the kidney, heart, thymus, pancreas, and adipocytes.

Benefits of The Oxytocin Hormone

  • It's a mood booster.
  • It improves sleep, which is helpful for insomnia.
  • It helps to reduce fear.
  • It can relieve pain.
  • It's good for your mental and emotional health.
  • It helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • It's a great immune booster.
  • It helps with lowering the blood pressure.

Oxytocin Therapy

Do you need to boost your mood and alleviate depression, anxiety, or stress? An increase in oxytocin could help. According to Oxytocin Reviews, oxytocin may be used by a variety of people to treat stress or physiological disorders. That said, before using any oxytocin products, consult your doctor and mental health professional. Only a doctor can determine if this is the right treatment for you.

Oxytocin Is The Happy Hormone. It Makes You Feel Wonderful. Read More.
Work On Emotional Wellness With An Online Therapist.

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Here are a few oxytocin products that might interest you:

Oxytocin Spray:

An oxytocin spray can be applied around the neck or collar area two to four times per day. This spray can also be applied to pillows, clothing, scarves, and blankets. Anecdotally, this spray is said to enhance trust and relational bonds. If this product interests you, Vero Labs has a range of oxytocin sprays.

Oxytocin Nasal Spray:

Unlike oxytocin pills and injections, the oxytocin nasal spray allows oxytocin to travel more rapidly through the bloodstream to the brain. It's often used on mental health patients, and it's available under the brand names Syntocinon and Pitocin.

Oxytocin Pills:

Pitocin is a brand of oxytocin pills. They're usually recommended for pregnant women because they can strengthen labor contractions and induce labor. This drug is helpful after labor as well; it helps the uterus contract and reduces postnatal bleeding. However, Pitocin has some side effects, so it can only be prescribed by a doctor and used under medical supervision.

Oxytocin Injection:

The oxytocin injection is mainly used for pregnant women to begin contractions and improve contractions during labor. It's also used with other medications to terminate pregnancies. Like other oxytocin medications, the oxytocin injection has side effects, and it's even possible to overdose, so it should be taken with extra precautions under the supervision of a doctor. In the event of an oxytocin overdose, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Oxytocin Necklace:

The oxytocin necklace is becoming more popular and can be purchased at various online stores, including Etsy and Amazon. You can purchase one of these necklaces in a variety of different patterns. There are also different pendants, chain lengths, and materials, such as gold, silver, and platinum.

Oxytocin Supplement:

The oxytocin supplement can be purchased over the counter or from many popular online stores. It's used to increase sexual pleasure and attraction. In addition, it's beneficial for weight loss and increased milk supply for lactating women. Plus, it promotes growth and healing.

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Oxytocin Antidote:

The oxytocin antidote is usually administered intravenously at extremely controlled dosages. For example, an IV infusion of up to two milliunits per minute at 60-minute intervals might induce labor. However, the oxytocin antidote is fatal if ingested.

Oxytocin Tattoo:

With an oxytocin tattoo, you can have a built-in love molecule on your body. It can reduce pain, depression, and social fears. Plus, it's said to improve generosity. You can search for tattoo ideas on websites like Pinterest.

Side Effects of Oxytocin:

Oxytocin has a few side effects, and it's possible to get too much oxytocin. Therefore, it's important to only take prescription-strength oxytocin products under medical supervision. Here are a few side effects to consider;

  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • High blood pressure
  • Stomach pains
  • Sinus
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeats (too slow, too fast, and even uneven)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Breathing problems
  • Memory loss and memory problems


BetterHelp can Help

If you find yourself relating to the symptoms of oxytocin deficiency, you may have mental health or intimacy issues that need to be addressed. A counselor can help. You may want to consider reaching out to the counselors at BetterHelp who can meet with you online at a time that works for you. It's always possible to feel better and find help. If you're curious about online counseling, you'll find reviews of BetterHelp counselors below.

Counselor Reviews

"Jonell is incredible! She has helped me through so much, and has been an invaluable asset to my relationship, career, and overall happiness."

"I used to really fall to pieces during a fight in my relationship due to a lack of self-esteem, shoulder the blame, and think there was something wrong with me but I'm better able to be in my relationship now because I have a stronger sense of self and able to see what's mine and what's not. Tracy is such a wonderful mix of natural compassion and steadiness. She is amazing at deep listening and asking the right questions to help me sort things out. She also have practical advice for skills and habits to create a better life with. I can tell through actions and words, she really cares without being attached. I am daily grateful for finding Tracy & BetterHelp."

Conclusion

Oxytocin is an important hormone involved in bonding, childbirth, and other important social functions. Whether you're a new mother or you're in a meaningful long-term relationship, this hormone impacts the way you relate to others. In its absence, you may feel detached or withdrawn. If you think you may need to improve your oxytocin level, speaking to a doctor and mental health professional can help you achieve a healthier frame of mind.


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