What Is Oxytocin and How Can It Affect My Mood?

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Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, is a hormone that is produced by both males and females and can affect many aspects of mood and social connections. Producing enough Oxytocin is especially important for those who have mental health problems and already struggle with anxiety, as Oxytocin can reduce these feelings of anxiety. If you feel like you need more Oxytocin in your life, read on to find out how you can produce more and what it does.

What Does Oxytocin Do?

Oxytocin is a hormone produced in a gland in the brain, where it is released into the bloodstream. Oxytocin has many physiological benefits. Some are the same in both males and females, whilst some effects differ with gender. Oxytocin can improve blood flow, which in turn means wounds may heal quicker and lower blood pressure. It can also help with building up sexual relationships and improves sexual intercourse in many ways for both males and females. In females, it can increase sexual intensity, meaning she can achieve faster and better orgasms. For a man, it can increase sperm count and is also the reason men feel tired after having sexual intercourse, which is the opposite for women.

How Can I Increase My Oxytocin Levels?

Oxytocin is called the love hormone, as it is produced through gestures between those we love, including friends, family, and partners. The brain will produce more oxytocin when we are hugged, kissed, massaged, have sexual contact, and may even be produced when we do activities we enjoy such as reading or writing. Less Oxytocin is produced by those who suffer from depression, have a mental illness such as schizophrenia, or are very isolated. If you suffer from a sex hormone deficiency, your Oxytocin levels will also be affected. As we grow older, the hypothalamus, which produces Oxytocin, will become less sensitive to stimuli, meaning we produce less and this can be why many older people often display negative symptoms.

Signs Your Aren’t Producing Enough Oxytocin

If you feel like you are suffering from oxytocin deficiency, you may have a variety of symptoms. If you already suffer from things like depression and anxiety, chances are your Oxytocin levels are already reduced. Mentally, you may feel low in mood or feel a lack of affection towards others. Physically, the signs may show during sexual intercourse, such as fewer orgasms, low desire to have sex, and no feeling of connection during sexual activity. You can have a blood test to diagnose if you have low Oxytocin levels and a replacement can be given as a trial.
If you feel like you may be producing less Oxytocin than you need, try and increase your social contact with family, friends, your partner, or steal a hug with your dog. Spend some time doing something you really enjoy; grab your favorite book or watch your favorite movie. If you are worried you are becoming low in mood, talk to your GP.

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