Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the love hormone due to the fact that it is responsible for some of the positive emotions that are experienced during the attraction and desire to engage in sexual activity.
What what is oxytocin, and how does it influence one’s behaviour? Here is the information that you require.
Can Oxytocin Be Classified as a Neurotransmitter?
Oxytocin functions as a neurotransmitter in addition to its role as a hormone. Hormones are chemicals that are released into the bloodstream and operate on the cells there. Neurotransmitters are substances that are released in your brain and nerves in response to electrical impulses. These neurotransmitters then operate on other brain and nerve cells. Oxytocin is capable of doing both.
It is the hormone that is responsible for erection and orgasm, as well as contractions during delivery, the letdown of breast milk (which is when your body releases milk when you are nursing), and breast milk letdown. Additionally, it is responsible for happy and trusting feelings in a relationship.
Oxytocin levels throughout pregnancy and when nursing
Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for initiating labour by stimulating contractions in the muscles of the uterus. Oxytocin is produced in your body when your baby presses on your cervix since this causes your brain to receive signals to do so.
After being secreted into the bloodstream, oxytocin seeks for cells in the inner layer of the uterine wall, where it binds to and stimulates the cells. This results in an increase in calcium levels within your cells, which subsequently triggers the contraction of your muscles.
In what is known as a positive feedback loop, your body will continue to secrete oxytocin even while your uterus continues to contract. This results in contractions that are stronger and more frequent up to the time when you give birth. Oxytocin, in the form of a medication, is administered to certain women in order to hasten the onset of labour or to make the contractions that have already begun stronger.
Oxytocin also stimulates the production of milk in a woman’s breasts. The sucking action that your baby makes when they latch on to your breast also helps boost oxytocin, which is a hormone that facilitates milk release. When the nursing session is ended, the oxytocin will no longer be secreted into your system until the next time you feed your infant.
The hormone also serves as a catalyst for the bonding process between you and your child. According to a number of studies, moms who have higher levels of oxytocin throughout pregnancy and in the first month after giving birth have stronger bonds with their children than do mothers who have lower quantities of the hormone.
Oxytocin, Love, and Trust Are All Good for Your Mental Health
Oxytocin has a sedative impact and can have an effect on your feelings as well as your mental health.
Reduces levels of stress Oxytocin levels in the blood rise when people are subjected to physical stress, such as being in pain or being restrained, according to studies. This may prevent your respiratory system from closing when you are confronted with something challenging or frightening, and it may also reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your body.
Reduces stress and anxiety levels. It’s possible that oxytocin might assist reduce anxiety as well. People who were given a nasal spray containing oxytocin before to giving a public speech had reduced levels of anticipatory anxiety, according to the findings of one research.
During a social stress test in another research, some participants were given oxytocin nasal spray, and they also had a buddy with them for support. Those who took oxytocin had significantly less anxiety compared to those who did not. Those individuals who took oxytocin medication and also got the assistance of a friend reported the least amount of anxiety and reported feeling more relaxed.
Instills confidence. According to the findings of other studies, oxytocin might make a person feel more giving and trustworthy. The hormone improves your ability to appropriately detect faces as either positive or negative, and it reduces your response to faces that appear to be frightening. This helps you earn the respect and connection of people as you move forward.
Influences one’s mood. It’s possible that people with depression also have altered amounts of oxytocin and oxytocin production, although the ramifications of these alterations aren’t entirely understood. It is possible that people with depression have reduced levels of oxytocin, however it is not certain that taking oxytocin medicine is beneficial.
Build relationships. Oxytocin plays a role in the formation of social ties, which in turn releases a surge of the feel-good chemical oxytocin. It is believed that a lack of connection is a sort of stress that drives your body to release oxytocin and sends you yearning for interaction with other people. [Cause and effect]
Oxytocin and Sexual Activity
Oxytocin is the hormone that causes sexual excitement and the act of orgasming. Those who have a vagina and have their nips stimulated might experience an increase in oxytocin levels, which in turn leads to lubrication and desire.
Oxytocin promotes erections in those who have a penis, raises sperm count, and causes sperm to flow through the body via ejaculation. During the act of orgasming, men experience elevated quantities of the hormone oxytocin. Taking an oxytocin medication through the nose increases the sensation of being aroused when masturbating.
People who have sexual relationships that are satisfying and healthy tend to have better overall health and live longer than those who do not. The release of oxytocin during sexual activity is thought to be beneficial to one’s health. However, it’s also possible that sex might strengthen relationships and bonding, both of which require oxytocin in some way.
How to Achieve a Higher Level of Oxytocin
If you’re feeling nervous or stressed out, raising your oxytocin levels may help you feel more at ease. Because oxytocin is released in response to physical touch, whether it be sexual or comforting, having sexual encounters that are both safe and voluntary is an effective strategy to raise levels of oxytocin.
But even the simplest of social activities and methods of self-soothing can be beneficial. These may include the following:
- Consuming supper in the company of a good friend
- Visiting with your mother
- interacting and bonding with one’s offspring
- A embrace
- Petting your dog
- Getting one’s muscles massaged
- Self-touch that is soft and kind.
- A rub on the back
There is a significant amount of attention and study being put into oxytocin medicine; however, there is not yet sufficient knowledge concerning the effects of this prescription. According to the findings of certain research, using an oxytocin drug may make symptoms of sadness and anxiety worse.
At this point in time, some of the most effective strategies to boost your levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin are to cultivate meaningful connections with other people, friendships, and romantic relationships.