Oxytocin is a nonapeptide (nine amino acids) hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary. Oxytocin produces action both peripherally and in the brain. Oxytocin is released by males and females during orgasm and is considered by many to be the hormone of desire, social recognition and bonding. Oxytocin is primarily administered by injection or nasal spray because Chymotrypsin, present in the gastrointestinal tract, destroys Oxytocin, rendering oral administration ineffective. Oxytocin has action on uterine contraction, milk letdown, orgasm, sexual arousal, bonding and maternal behavior.
Oxytocin has recently received significant interest in the Autism community. Researchers have found that autistic children have lower plasma levels of oxytocin than those of other children. Oxytocin plays a role in social behavior, including but not limited to: repetitive behaviors, the desire to form social bonds, social recognition, processing social cues, regulated feeding, excessive grooming, stress response, and being aloof.
Recent studies show that Oxytocin is involved in multiple signaling pathways in the central and peripheral nerve system and mainly regulates the physiology and activity of reproduction, including male reproduction and sexual behavior. The roles of Oxytocin in penile erection are bio-phasic with pro-erectile effect in the central nerve system, while peripherally inhibiting erection. Oxytocin also mediates ejaculation, post-ejaculatory detumescence, and the post-orgasm refractory period.
Oxytocin has also become the subject of studies in female sexual dysfunction — specifically in difficulty with achieving orgasm. Oxytocin increases sexual receptivity and counteracts impotence. Oxytocin can be used to help treat Female Orgasmic Disorder, Female Arousal Disorder or for those women who just desire more powerful or multiple orgasms.
Recent research has shown that Oxytocin may have many other far-reaching effects, particularly when it comes to relationships and emotional involvement. Oxytocin is the reason why we form all sorts of deep connections not only with our children, but with our partners, friends and even our pets. It is often referred to as the “bonding hormone.” Oxytocin also plays a huge role in the non-procreative aspects of sex.
Research has shown that for women, not only is Oxytocin released during orgasm, it appears to be responsible for causing orgasms in the first place. Research indicates that Oxytocin causes the nerves in the genitals to fire spontaneously, and this leads to powerful orgasms. In women, during orgasm, Oxytocin levels increase significantly. During peak sexual arousal, if a woman’s brain is flooded with Oxytocin, she may indeed be capable of multiple orgasms.