Oxytocin plays an intriguing role in pain perception and pain physiology. Oxytocin receptors participate in modulating visceral pain, which perhaps is not a surprise given oxytocin’s involvement in childbirth. One novel application for oxytocin is for the treatment of migraine and acute headache. A recently published double-blind, placebo controlled study showed a strong dose-response effect with intranasal oxytocin and headache pain.
Male erectile tissues are one of the main peripheral target areas for oxytocin. Oxytocin is an emerging agent in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and male anorgasmia, with recent successful case reports published for both conditions. In women, oxytocin levels are higher after orgasm compared to baseline levels. Oxytocin strengthens attachment, affection and trust between partners, fostering increased intimacy and emotional
Oxytocin appears to have multiple mechanisms of action including an inhibitory influence on the amygdala, one of the brain’s stress-response centres. Lactating women have reduced plasma ACTH, cortisol and glucose responses in comparison to postpartum non- lactating women. Oxytocin together with social support before a stressful event significantly reduced cortisol and increased calmness. Several studies have examined oxytocin’s role as a treatment and prevention strategy in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Research suggests that oxytocin may benefit people with the following conditions:
24-hour oxytocin urine testing holds several key advantages. A 24-hour test is a non- invasive means of assessment and additionally captures a full day’s secretion. This 24- hour perspective is critical because oxytocin secretion can be highly situational, triggered by social and sexual activities.