Sometimes referred to as the love hormone, oxytocin is beneficial as a treatment for several conditions such as anxiety, intestinal problems, and depression. It acts as a neurotransmitter that is related to trust, sexual activity, empathy, positive communication, and building relationships. The levels of this love hormone increase during orgasm and hugging. Generally, females have higher levels of this hormone compared to males. In the brain, this neurotransmitter serves as a chemical messenger and has a great impact on multiple human behaviours. Learn more about the oxytocin meaning, how it is produced, its effect on emotions, and if there are any side effects of taking it as a prescription.
A neurotransmitter in mammals involved in the female reproductive functions such as breastfeeding and childbirth refers to oxytocin. This hormone is produced in the part of the brain named the hypothalamus. From there, it is transported and secreted at the base of the brain by the pituitary gland. This love hormone upsurges uterine motility, which causes contractions in the uterus muscles during labour. The release of this hormone causes the widening of the vagina and cervix. Stimulation of the nipples activates the release of this hormone.
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The above picture shows oxytocin meaning and how its release stimulates uterus contractions and helps in the birth of a child.
One can also observe the role of oxytocin in enhancing bonding behaviour, social recognition, the creation of group memories, and other social functions. It is connected to other happy hormones named dopamine and serotonin. When one gets attracted to another person, the brain releases dopamine and the levels of serotonin rise. It produces the love hormone and causes an individual to feel a surge of positive emotion.
What are the Oxytocin Side Effects While Using as a Drug?
Under the brand name Pitocin, oxytocin is used as a prescription. Its injection is used sometimes to initiate birth contractions under medical supervision. It helps in lessening bleeding after delivery or abortion. It is also helpful in treating autism and other psychiatric conditions that harm social interaction. Although the hormone can enhance bonding, there are some downsides as well such as unusual bleeding and uneven heart rate.
It may encourage favouritism and can lead to the formation of groups.
Some oxytocin side effects include a rupture of the uterus if delivered too quickly.
The hormone can also lead to feelings of dishonesty and envy.
It can cause severe weakness, unsteady feeling, and confusion.
It can result in blurred vision, severe headache, and pounding in the neck or ears.
How is Love Hormone Connected With Motherhood?
Oxytocin use plays a crucial role in motherhood such as:
Breastfeeding: When a baby latches on the breast of the mother, it causes a release of the hormone. It indicates the mother’s body to let down milk for the baby.
Labour: The love hormone signals the uterus to contract, which starts labour. By increasing the production of related hormones, it supports the move process. It helps the uterus return to its prior size after delivery.
Bonding: Mothers with higher levels of oxytocin and prolactin are more likely to engage in loving parenting behaviours. It involves affectionate touch, dressing and bathing behaviours, frequent checking on the baby, and speaking to the baby in different ways. Babies who receive such type of parenting often have high levels of love hormone that results in strengthening the mother-child bond.
What are Oxytocin Sprays?
Nose sprays of the hormone are also well-known in treating autism. According to a study, the hormone might help strengthen behavioural therapy for a child suffering from the disorder. However, the oxytocin effects might get reversed if taken without a prescription. The sprays not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, sold online, can result in nausea, stomach pain, or other side effects. Anyone who ever had heart problems, genital herpes, a severe infection in the uterus, or is allergic to it, must tell the doctor before getting treated with its medication.
Oxytocin meaning is like a hormone of attachment that creates feelings of closeness and calm. It is used to reduce bleeding after the delivery of the child, and its injection is used to improve uterus contractions during labour. There are other benefits of using it with other medications during pregnancy. However, one must ask a pharmacist or doctor before taking it as medication.