Oxytocin: It is a peptide hormone, released during childbirth and lactation. In females, it is mainly involved in stimulating the growth of prostaglandins, increasing the contractions of the muscles of the uterus, reduces the excess blood flow post-childbirth, promotes milk movement into the mammary glands. In males, it helps in the production of testosterone and aids in the movement of sperm. It also plays a role in social behaviour and various aspects around it.
Effects Of Oxytocin
It has adverse side-effects. Such as:
- Higher levels of oxytocin have been related to Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Lack of oxytocin can prevent breastfeeding by milk-ejection reflex
- Low oxytocin levels have also been linked to autistic disorders (Asperger’s syndrome). It also leads to depressive symptoms
- Fetal heart rate deceleration, pulmonary oedema, and uterine hyperstimulation are other conditions caused due to oxytocin
- Vomiting, nausea, jaundice, neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, sinus bradycardia are also caused due to abnormal oxytocin levels
- Oxytocin imbalance in the body causes seizures in the neurons
Functions Of Oxytocin
- Affects gland growth.
- Acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain.
- Stimulates contractility of the epididymis, prostate gland, and seminiferous tubules.
- It plays a role in maternal and sexual behaviour, memory-related, yawning, feeding, thermoregulation and cardiovascular regulation.
- Stimulates uterine muscle contractions. During childbirth, fetal-ejection reflex produces oxytocin, which causes contractions of muscles of the uterus.
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