The link between the hormone oxytocin and female orgasm, bonding and attachment

by Dawn Michael

When we can look at a woman's sexual health from the perspective that her body can naturally secret a very powerful hormone called oxytocin when she gets aroused and is brought to climax, then it would make sense to maintain a healthy sex life. Oxytocin is often referred to as the love hormone because of the extensive studies done surrounding nipple stimulation and let down of milk when a woman is nursing a child promoting the bond between mother and child. This same hormone is also released while a woman is giving birth. The effect of the release of oxytocin is to promote attachment and cause and overall feeling of calmness. These are some of the same feeling that a woman may experience after orgasm and that is the calming effect and an even strong attachment to her partner especially when that partner is a spouse or in a long term committed relationship.

Oxytocin releases when the womb contracts and when the woman's nipples are stimulated, all of this has been studied in association with birth and breast feeding. Oxytocin is one of the artificial drugs given to women to speed up labor and to get the cervix to dilate. In order to duplicate the hormone and create an artificial drug Oxytocin (Syntocinon) was developed by Vincent du Vigneaud. It was first synthesized in 1953. Oxytocin is a natural hormone secreted and stored by the posterior pituitary gland.

Oxytocin is also released into the blood during many types of touching; including cuddling, hugging, kissing, orgasm, sex and snuggling. The physical effects of oxytocin include increased sensitivity of nerve endings, stimulated muscle contractions, increased heart rate plus the desire to touch and be touched. The emotional feelings that the release of oxytocin produces are the feeling of bonding, attachment and even the calming afterglow from orgasm and sex.

The bonding that oxytocin promotes in women is said to be "designed to encourage people to stay together".

Both men and women feel the effects of oxytocin but to a different degree, a man is said to release oxytocin during climax, but a woman may feel the release of oxytocin during the arousal phase and then continued release with each orgasm. Women's brains also have more oxytocin neural receptors, and pregnancy may increase the number of receptors. This is one reasons why women may feel the need to cuddle after sex and feel more of an attachment to her partner, or even if it is a casual sexual encounter.

The most wonderful aspect about the release of oxytocin especially for women, is that she can experience this through self stimulation, as a way to help her boost her sexual desire when she may have been experiencing loss of desire in her marriage. Continued self pleasuring will help to begin to release the hormone and then have the desired effect of wanting to be close to her spouse again. Women should understand that by self pleasuring it promotes more attachment and desire" and by not having sex or self pleasuring, it will actually decrease her desire. So when a woman is feeling a low sex drive one of the best ways to boost it and release oxytocin is through self pleasuring. Then she can share this desire with her spouse to promote a more healthy sex life and stronger bond with her husband or partner.



1/9/2011 7:51:03 AM
About the Author
I am Certified Clinical Sexologist and Relationship Coach, helping couples to enjoy a healthy sex life. I am a sexual healer, counselor and coach. I offer couples counseling as well as individual counseling. For more information visit my website "The Happy Spouse".
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Community Comments
I was recently taken off my hormones and am undergoing a surgery for a tiny lump in my breast. The endo doc does not want me to take hormones anymore. Does a female orgasm produce any other hormones? And what else can I do to naturally produce hormones. I am not able to take any supplements either. Any suggestions? I hate hot flashes....... oh and I have no ovaries. Thank you
Posted 3 years ago by questionqueen
Yes Callisse, talking and being open to each other is a good thing, showing each other what turns you on what turns her on, the two of you should be open!
Posted 3 years ago by Dawn Michael
Making my way through all your posts...so, maybe my wife and I should get over being shy about "self-pleasuring" and be an audience to each other to help stimulate my arousal/desire or at least to help nurture our attachment to each other? Interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Posted 3 years ago by Calli
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