The neuropeptide hormone Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and is released into the blood through the posterior pituitary gland. The secretion of oxytocin depends on the electrical activity of neurons in the hypothalamus (when these cells are excited, it is released into the blood). Oxytocin plays important functions in social bonds, sexual reproduction, childbirth and the postpartum period. Oxytocin is also important in human behavior, including sexual arousal, recognition, trust, anxiety, and mother-child ties.
Oxytocin benefits and effects
- Oxytocin in pregnant women helps with birth, bonding with the baby and milk production
- Oxytocin plays an important role in the sexual function of women and mediates the bonds between men and women
- Oxytocin has psychological effects, including influencing social behavior and emotions
- Oxytocin evokes feelings of satisfaction and confidence
- Oxytocin reduces stress reactions
Oxytocin possible side effects
The use of oxytocin in pregnant and breast-feeding women must be evaluated and supervised by a doctor, as oxytocin may cause serious or life-threatening side effects in the newborn.
One performed scientific study to examine mood and emotional changes in men in a dose-dependent manner of oxytocin found that at a dose of 67 micrograms of oxytocin, signs of good mood and satisfaction were identified on the faces of volunteers, with a lower dose of 50 mcg oxytocin having no effect.