BACKGROUND: Oxytocin and prolactin stimulate milk ejection and milk production during breastfeeding. The aim of the present study was to make a detailed analysis of maternal release of oxytocin and prolactin in response to breastfeeding during the second day postpartum in mothers who had received oxytocin either intravenously for stimulation of labor or intramuscularly for prevention of postpartum hemorrhage and/or epidural analgesia or those who had received no such treatment in connection with birth. METHODS: In a descriptive comparative study plasma oxytocin and prolactin concentrations were measured in response to suckling during the second day postpartum in women who had received intravenous intrapartum oxytocin (n = 8), intramuscular postpartum oxytocin (n = 13), or epidural analgesia, either with (n = 14) or without (n = 6) intrapartum oxytocin infusion, and women who received none of these interventions (n = 20). Hormone levels were analyzed by enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: All mothers showed a pulsatile oxytocin pattern during the first 10 minutes of breastfeeding. Women who had received epidural analgesia with oxytocin infusion had the lowest endogenous median oxytocin levels. The more oxytocin infusion the mothers had received during labor, the lower their endogenous oxytocin levels were during a breastfeeding during the second day postpartum. A significant rise of prolactin was observed after 20 minutes in all women, but after 10 minutes in mothers having received oxytocin infusion during labor. In all women, oxytocin variability and the rise of prolactin levels between 0 and 20 minutes correlated significantly with median oxytocin and prolactin levels. CONCLUSION: Oxytocin, released in a pulsatile way, and prolactin were released by breastfeeding during the second day postpartum. Oxytocin infusion decreased endogenous oxytocin levels dose-dependently. Furthermore, oxytocin infusion facilitated the release of prolactin. Epidural analgesia in combination with oxytocin infusion influenced endogenous oxytocin levels negatively.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations between plasma oxytocin and vasopressin concentrations and renal water and sodium excretion during normal pregnancy in comparison with gestational hypertension. DESIGN: A prospective open trial conducted in the 12th, 24th, and 36th weeks of gestation. SETTINGS: Seven antenatal clinics in Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-seven normotensive women, 15 women with gestational hypertension, and five women with mild preeclampsia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Hormones were analyzed with radioimmunoassay. Albumin, osmolality, sodium, and urea were analyzed by routine methods. RESULTS: Blood pressure was elevated in the hypertensive women and body mass index in mild preeclampsia from week 12. Renal sodium excretion did not differ between groups or weeks and mean renal free water clearance was negative. In normotensive women, the vasopressin concentration was 1.1+/-0.2 (week 12) and 0.7+/-0.1 pmol/L (week 36: p = 0.053). In hypertensive women, vasopressin concentration was 1.7+/-1.0 pmol/L, week 12, and 0.7+/-0.1 pmol/L in week 36 (ns). In normotensive women, oxytocin concentration increased from 23+/-1 pmol/L in week 12 to 48+/-3 pmol/L in week 36 (p
Little is known about cancer incidence among patients with a history of suicide attempt. Suicide attempters have lower levels of oxytocin, a hormone related to lactation, stress, social functioning, and well-being, and recent research indicates influence on carcinogenesis. We hypothesized that the low oxytocin levels among suicide attempters results in an increased risk of cancer in general and in organs with oxytocin receptors in particular.
A nationwide cohort study of patients aged 15 years or older with hospitalization for self-inflicted injury or attempted suicide was identified from the Swedish patient register in 1968-2011. The cancer outcomes were identified from the Swedish cancer register. Cancer risk in suicide attempters was compared with the risk in the background population of the corresponding age, sex, and calendar period by calculating standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) with 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI).
The 186,627 patients (83,637 men and 102,990 women) hospitalized for self-inflicted injury or attempted suicide contributed with 2.6 million person-years at risk. The SIR for all cancer was 1.3 (95 % CI 1.27-1.33) in men and 1.25 (1.22-1.28) in women. For cancers in organs rich in oxytocin receptors (uterus, breast, and brain), the corresponding SIRs were 1.02 (0.87-1.19) and 1.13 (1.09-1.17), respectively. There was a particularly increased risk of cancers related to alcohol and tobacco in both sexes.
Patients attempting suicide have an increased risk of cancer. However, this increase does not seem to be associated with low oxytocin levels, but rather to exposures like tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption.