Oxytocin is perhaps best known for inducing labor, under the name of Pitocin or Syntocinon. Many mothers had to have their labor induced recognize these market names. However, lately it is also nicknamed the “cuddle hormone” or “the hormone of love.” What’s the story behind this hormone, and since when does going into labor make people feel loving and cuddly? Studies are still underway to fully find out, but oxytocin has a wide range of established effects on the human body. Oxytocin is best known for its affects on the female reproductive system. It gets released during labor as the cervix and vagina are distended, and also after the nipples have been stimulated. In lactating mothers’ breasts, oxytocin is the hormone that releases milk down into the collecting chamber of the nipple. Oxytocin releases during breastfeeding often cause uterine contractions when a woman begins lactating.

Recently however, studies have started to examine oxytocin’s involvement in behavior. These include orgasm, pair bonding, trust, love and maternal distinctiveness. Two different studies have confirmed increases in oxytocin levels at the time of orgasm in both sexes. Plasma oxytocin increases significantly during a self-stimulated orgasm. Another study found that any genital stimulation produced a noteworthy increase in oxytocin. Some authors and researches have been led to the conclusion that oxytocin is an important factor in arousal, but results have been mixed. More of these studies have been done for women than for men however, since women experience longer orgasms and have more complicated reproductive systems.

Oxytocin does induce feelings of relaxation, calmness and contentment. In order for anybody to reach orgasm, the parts of the brain containing fear and anxiety must be temporarily shut off. This is why the link between oxytocin and orgasm exists. Oxytocin facilitates in the quieting of this portion of the brain.

Since oxytocin is always present at the time of orgasm and sexual stimulation, many feel that introducing it to the body externally rather than waiting for its presence to come about naturally, can improve and speed up its effects. This type of thinking has given rise to a number of products and oxytocin sprays on the market, which aim to manipulate the responses triggered by the hormone. The idea is that the feelings of trust, happiness and sexual fulfillment can be achieved by a marketed dose of the hormone.

These sprays are aerosol versions of the real and naturally produced hormone. Oxytocin cannot be ingested because it dissolves in the digestive tract. These sprays are meant to be administered nasally, by taking the hormone up into the sinuses. The oxytocin is then quickly absorbed by the mucus membranes and ideally supposed to do its magic.

Generally you need a medical prescription or physician to get your hands on oxytocin. Legitimate oxytocin spray is prescribed for new mothers having trouble with breastfeeding. A number of the “love potion” type of sprays, however are marketed for anybody to purchase. Oxytocin body sprays are sold as well, to be sprayed on the body or clothing rather than inhaled. It is nearly impossible to tell whether or not these products actually contain the hormone, and in what amount.

Since studies have linked high oxytocin levels to increased trust and bonding, oxytocin spray is meant to be a love potion in its own right. With clever names like “Liquid Love” this is a product that speaks to a desire as old as time: the desire to manipulate, create and direct love and affection. Whether you believe this is possible or not, remember that studies about his hormone are ongoing. If unrequited love has left you desperate with nothing to lose, douse yourself in some liquid love and see for yourself if it really works.

Last updated on Jun 12th, 2010 and filed under Drugs and Medications. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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