Where Is Oxytocin Produced In The Body?
Updated May 09, 2019
Reviewer Jeffrey Craven , MA, LMHC, LPCC, LLC
If you're looking for more information about what it is that makes you healthy then you're going to want to understand more about oxytocin. It's an important hormone that's naturally produced by your body and helps you to feel better in some ways as well. It's something that you're going to want to take a closer look and oxytocin produced in the body is going to be a better way to go about it (though it can be artificially created and added for some purposes).
What Is Oxytocin Produced In The Body?
So, let's start with Oxytocin is. In the simplest of terms, it's a hormone, and that means that it has to do with the reproductive cycle. This particular hormone is one that's present in males and females, meaning it has a slightly different role in each. For females, it's related to pregnancy and lactation. For males, it's related to sperm movement and the production of testosterone. It's also believed to have a secondary purpose that relates to the way that it interacts with and within the brain. All-in-all, it's a hormone that you're going to want to have enough of, especially if you're going into labor.
Why You Need Oxytocin
When you are pregnant, oxytocin is produced within the body to help with contractions. It does this to stimulate uterine muscle contractions and womb contractions that help with the process of childbirth. This is important as any mother will tell you because pregnancy and childbirth are difficult enough without the body going through the process of contractions on its own.
If the contractions aren't strong enough or don't occur when they should artificially create oxytocin may be used to help stimulate the body to go into labor or to deliver the placenta or reduce risk from heavy bleeding.
After the childbirth, however, oxytocin isn't quite done. That's because it's also present within the body during lactation. Oxytocin helps to increase milk movement within the breasts, increasing the way that it is excreted through the nipple. This is important for breastfeeding and helps the infant to be able to get the nourishment that it's looking for. Of course, when it comes to men, you're going to find completely different reasons that oxytocin is necessary.
For men, oxytocin is responsible for the development of testosterone within the testes. It's also responsible for the movement of sperm within the body, which can help with the process of pregnancy within the female. By increasing the movement of sperm and the production of it (which happens by the increase of testosterone), it's possible for pregnancy to be more likely and more successful. For men, it may not perform quite as many roles as in women, but it's still something that is important to have and to have in the right quantities as well.
The secondary purpose is believed to be the way that the hormone reacts within the brain. It's believed to be a chemical messenger and has been found to relate to different behaviors within the human body. These include recognition, trust, and sexual arousal, but also include things like anxiety and even mother-infant bonding. Proper levels of this hormone can increase the ability of an infant and its mother to be healthy and happy in their relationship with one another. It can also help with developing relationships with others as well because of the way that it relates to trust and recognition.
How It Works
The hormone itself is self-stimulating, which means that once some of it is released, it triggers to release even more. For women who go into labor a small release of oxytocin will stimulate contractions, but it will also stimulate the body to release even more oxytocin to stimulate even more contractions. As the woman gets closer and closer to delivery, the contractions get stronger, and they get more frequent. This is a result of the increased amount of oxytocin that is released as the contractions continue. The same is true in other ways that the hormone is used within the body.
Finding Out More
Oxytocin is an important part of your body's chemical makeup, and if your body doesn't create or produce it on its own, it's something you'll need to talk to your doctor about. Of course, discovering whether your body produces it or not could be difficult as well. The best thing that you can do is work with your doctor to understand your body better and to know what is happening within it. Your doctor will be able to help you get and stay healthier as well, so make sure you're staying up to date with all your doctor's appointments.
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