Sexual satisfaction—treating a woman with oxytocin also benefits her male partner

May 18, 2017, Medical University of Vienna
Credit: Medical University of Vienna

The results of a study conducted at MedUni Vienna under the direction of Michaela Bayerle-Eder, doctor of internal and sexual medicine, showed that the sexual response of men, whose female partners had been treated with the "bonding hormone" oxytocin or a placebo, was enhanced – even to the extent of improving their erectile function. Since this effect was not a function of the substance administered, the result is attributable to the improvement in communications within the long-term relationship.

Approximately one year ago, in a study published in the prestigious journal Fertility and Sterility, the researchers found that treating women with sexual dysfunction with the hormone oxytocin improved their sexual response but also that the comparison group, who had only been given a placebo, showed an almost identical improvement. The specialists in therefore also investigated the effects upon the women's male partners.

This study has now shown that treating the with oxytocin not only enhances their own sexuality but also that of their . Since the effect was found not only in the group receiving the active agent but also in the placebo group, it is once again thought to be triggered by the improved communication within the relationship.

The specific results: "The mere fact that the couple discussed sexuality more in their relationship and that they had to keep a joint diary helped to enhance their ," summarises Bayerle-Eder. The results were just as good in the as they were in the group of couples where the women were given oxytocin. Says Bayerle-Eder: "This is of major importance for all sex therapists. It is not just the medication that helps but rather, and more importantly, the functional social interaction within a relationship."

This is particularly important for older couples in long-term relationships. The 30 couples in the study had been together for between two and 33 years and were aged between 41 and 65.

Explore further: Better communication about sex is just as effective as 'female Viagra'

More information: Dana A. Muin et al. Men's sexual response to female partner's intranasal oxytocin administration for hypoactive sexual desire disorder: an open prospective cohort study, Fertility and Sterility (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.12.003

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