Love is a powerful emotion that captivates human attention, and that’s apparent in poetry, art, and even scientific studies, says Marla Ahlgrimm. But beyond the realm of intimacy, falling in love also has an effect on our physiological selves. The song of love triggers a symphony of hormonal changes within us. Today, Marla Ahlgrimm takes a look at how love potentially influences women’s hormones.
Oxytocin, The Love Hormone
Oxytocin is referred to as the love hormone. This little chemical plays a central role in the experience of falling in love. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that when women are in the early stages of romantic attachment, the brain releases more oxytocin than normal. This fosters feelings of trust, attachment, and bonding. Oxytocin promotes closeness and intimacy. Interestingly, oxytocin is also released in high quantities during the birth and labor process and also while breast-feeding, which is in part responsible for the strong bonds formed between mother and baby.
Dopamine And The Reward System
Oxytocin isn’t the only chemical kicked out of the brain when falling in love, says Marla Ahlgrimm. New romantic feelings also trigger a surge of dopamine in the brain’s reward system. Dopamine is released in response to feelings of pleasure, motivation, and satisfaction. According to Marla Ahlgrimm, dopamine also creates a euphoric sensation, which can lead to increased energy levels and exhilaration and boost a woman’s sense of happiness. Dopamine is also released during the anticipation of seeing a new lover after time apart.
Serotonin And Contentment
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s closely linked to mood regulation. And like the other as mentioned above, Marla Ahlgrimm says that it also plays a part in the falling in love process. Physical and emotional intimacy can trigger an increase in serotonin levels. This leads to enhanced feelings of happiness and overall contentment. The surge of serotonin combines with dopamine and oxytocin to create a prolonged sense of happiness and emotional stability, particularly during the early stages of romantic attachment.
Love And Stress
While falling in love is an exciting and blissful time, it can also introduce new stress factors into a woman’s life. The early stages of a new romantic relationship may be marked by anxiety, emotional vulnerability, and feelings of inadequacy, especially in women who struggle with self-worth. Marla Ahlgrimm says that all of these can trigger the release of cortisol, which as we all know is the body’s primary stress hormone. However, as a woman becomes more settled into her relationship and begins to experience the love and trust of a new partner, these feelings dissipate and so does the cortisol.
Does Love Contribute To Overall Health?
In a word: yes. Marla Ahlgrimm says that the hormonal changes triggered by falling in love can and do have a positive impact on women’s overall health, especially their immune system. Oxytocin is known to boost immune function, which promotes overall health and well-being. Further, the emotional support and companionship provided by a loving partner also contributes to better immune function and can encourage women to take better care of themselves so that they can be there for the ones they love.
Ultimately, Marla Ahlgrimm knows that falling in love is an extraordinary experience that goes far beyond superficial happiness. It can affect a woman’s hormones to create a symphony of changes that may just be music to her ears. From releasing oxytocin to a surge of dopamine, women in love experience health and happiness unlike at any other time in their lives.