Oxytocin is nine amino acids also known as nonapeptide hormone which is secreted by the posterior pituitary gland. Oxytocin plays an essential in triggering activity both in the brain and peripherally. Many people consider oxytocin as the hormone of social recognition desire and bonding since it is normally produced in both females and males when having an orgasm. Oxytocin can only be effective when administered by injection or nasal spray since it can be destroyed by the chymotrypsin if administered orally. Clinically oxytocin is administered to help in inducing and strengthening labor as well as controlling postpartum bleeding. Postpartum milk ejection stimulated by the intranasal preparations of oxytocin is no longer available in the US, therefore, the need for a preparation via compounding pharmacy.
Oxytocin also plays a significant role in inducing maternal behavior, uterine contraction, bonding, sexual arousal, orgasm, and milk let-down. It is therefore referred to as the bonding hormone at times. It is also believed that oxytocin is responsible ethnocentric behavior as well as incorporating the compassion and trust of individuals in the same group and triggering rejection of the outsiders. According to specialists genetic differences in the OXTR or the oxytocin receptor gene can lead to excessive aggressiveness.
Oxytocin hormone is normally produced by a region in the brain size of an almond known as the hypothalamus. Up on production oxytocin is released into the blood directly via the pituitary gland or to the other body part which includes the spinal cord and some parts of the brain. Oxytocin is known to be essential in the body especially during labor and childbirth since it triggers contraction of the uterine. In case the contractions are not enough while giving birth, oxytocin can be administered to the mother to boost contraction thus helping with the process of giving birth.
Despite oxytocin being associated with various anti-social behaviors such as feeding, anxiety, learning and pain perception it also helps with some positive social behavior according to a recent discovery. It has been discovered that oxytocin hormone helps with some important social behaviors such as sexual, bonding and maternal behavior, social memory and attachment as well as boosting aggression. Recent research has also found out that oxytocin helps in building trust and human bonding as well. Oxytocin has also been found to express some aberrant social disorders which include schizophrenia and autism.
Oxytocin is also an essential hormone to breastfeeding mothers since it improves lactation. It has been found out that this hormone triggers contraction of cells in the breasts surrounding the alveoli and milk ducts as well in to enhance lactation and suckling. Insufficient oxytocin has been known to be one of the major causes of lactation failure. When breastfeeding an infant, the nerve terminals in the areola are stimulated to produce afferent impulses, which travel the central nerve system where they trigger the posterior pituitary gland to release oxytocin. Oxytocin release in females is usually stimulated by various factors such as sound or sight or even thinking about her infant thus indicating the existence of large cerebral component which facilitates neuroendocrine reflex. Once oxytocin is released in the blood it is transported to the mammary glands it stimulates specific receptors on the myoepithelial cells triggering them to start contracting to push milk from the alveoli to the milk ducts and sub-areolar sinuses. Once the milk gets into gets into the milk ducts, it flows freely to the nipple for suckling the infant. The movement of the milk from the alveoli to the nipple involve an essential lactation process known as milk let down or ejection. Lactation problem has successfully been solved through oxytocin nasal spray. Other than enhancing the birth process and facilitating lactation in breastfeeding mothers oxytocin has also been found to boost emotional bonding between the infant and the mother.
Recently the Austin community has developed a significant interest in oxytocin. Scientists discovered that autistic children have low levels of oxytocin than other ordinary children. Oxytocin contributes significantly to social behavior which includes a desire to bond socially, processing social cues, over grooming, self-realization, recurrent behaviors, response to stress, regulated feeding and being aloof.
The report published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences stated that when oxytocin is administered as an inhalant, it accelerates the section of the brain responsible for the social connection. Oxytocin has also been found to facilitate social attunement or the process that triggers accelerate the parts of the brain are involved in social cognition and behavior. According to this report, oxytocin does not stimulate brain regions only but revives damaged brain regions in kids with autism.
Research has also found out that oxytocin plays various roles in signaling pathways in the peripheral and central nervous system. This helps in regulating and controlling reproduction activity and physiology which includes sexual desire and behavior and male reproduction. Oxytocin plays major roles in penile erection which includes peripherally inhibiting erection as well as effecting pro-erection. Oxytocin is also believed to mediate post-ejaculatory detumescence, ejaculation as well as the post-orgasm refractory duration.
Scientists have also developed an interest to determine the role of oxytocin in female sexual dysfunction focusing on the difficulty in reaching orgasm. Oxytocin is believed to counteract impotence as it boosts sexual receptivity. Individuals with female arousal disorder, female orgasm disorder or who desire multiple and power orgasm can benefit from oxytocin treatment.
According to the recent studies, oxytocin may have more effects and benefits especially on matters relating to emotions and relationships. Oxytocin is responsible for the deep connections that exist between parents and their children, the relationship between partners and also friendship connection. Oxytocin also reaches further in inducing deep connections between individuals and their pets hence the name bonding hormone. Oxytocin is also involved non-proactive aspects of sex.
Studies have also found out that other than oxytocin being released when women are having an orgasm, it is also deemed to be responsible for the occurrence of orgasm in the first place. According to scientific research, oxytocin triggers the genital nerves to fire up spontaneously leading to a powerful orgasm. Women have been found to have high levels of oxytocin which is responsible for multiple and powerful orgasms. Multiple orgasms are common especially when a woman brains is saturated with oxytocin while having sex.
Oxytocin is also referred to as cuddle hormone sometimes due to the role it plays in inducing cervical stimulation and skin to skin contact stimulation while having sex. Oxytocin at average level induces cuddling and kissing desire only. Having a skin contact through caressing can trigger an increase in oxytocin levels. As a result, the endorphins are released in the body which triggers both psychological and biological arousal.