There’s nothing quite like that feeling of elation and tranquility that follows an incredible orgasm. Whether you climaxed with someone you love or enjoyed a satisfying solo session, that “afterglow” feels great.
It turns out there’s a reason for this. Sex releases hormones that stimulate parts of the brain, including the cerebellum, which is linked to movement and coordination.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control movement, memory and pleasurable rewards. It also helps regulate emotions and motivation. Low levels of dopamine have been linked to depression, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Several natural methods can help boost dopamine levels. These include exercising, meditating and eating a healthy diet. In addition, taking certain supplements and herbs such as rhodiola rosea, L-tyrosine and ginkgo biloba can also help.
The brain creates dopamine in a small strip of tissue called the substantia nigra, located in a part of the brain known as the midbrain. It releases dopamine when we enjoy food, sex, drugs and other pleasures. Dopamine triggers a rush of “go get it” hormones, which fuel sexual desire. During sex, your body experiences a surge of oxytocin and dopamine, which can lead to euphoria and even orgasms. If you reach orgasm, your body may also release serotonin and adrenaline. Nausea is a common side effect of orgasm, which can be caused by the sudden release of these hormones.
While sex is associated with feelings of pleasure, it can also trigger anxiety and panic attacks in some people. According to Shadeen Francis, marriage and family therapist and sex therapist, this is because of the release of various hormones that can change your brain and body chemistry. These changes can make you feel high, but they are not necessarily pleasant.
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter and hormone that manages key aspects of the female reproductive system, including childbirth and breast-feeding. It also influences empathy, trust, and social behavior. It is also being explored as a potential treatment for autism and anxiety disorders.
It has been called the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone.” Research suggests that oxytocin promotes feelings of closeness and trust, even among strangers. It is thought that these effects are related to the way in which oxytocin bonds people and enhances social recognition. Oxytocin is also thought to be responsible for some of the “paternal instincts” that are seen in mammals, such as caring for the young and vulnerable.
The hormone is produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. The hypothalamus is a part of the limbic system, which controls functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, and digestion.
The release of oxytocin is controlled by a positive feedback loop, in which an action stimulates more of the same actions. This is the same mechanism that causes milk to be ejected from a nipple when it is stimulated by a baby’s suckling. It is also the same mechanism that causes a person to feel infatuated with another person. In addition to oxytocin, other hormones released during sexual activity include cortisol and serotonin.
Your body produces a group of polypeptide chemicals called endorphins that act as natural pain and stress relievers. They also enhance feelings of pleasure. Endorphins bind to opioid receptors in the brain and block pain signals from reaching the brain.
Your nervous system and the pituitary gland are the primary producers of endorphins, which are also known as peptide neurotransmitters. They are related to dopamine, but different from it in some ways. While endorphins provide a temporary burst of happiness, dopamine is a longer-lasting mood regulator.
Many people report feeling euphoric after sex, and this is often due to the release of hormones and endorphins. Nausea is also a common side effect of this feeling, but it is usually short-lived and can be alleviated by taking a few deep breaths.
You can increase your endorphin levels naturally by exercising, eating well and being social. You can also try acupuncture, which has been shown to boost this hormone. High endorphin levels are associated with reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety and can reduce your chances of developing some inflammatory diseases. Having higher endorphin levels may also help you better cope with chronic pain and emotional distress. If you’re interested in learning more about how to boost your endorphin levels, check out this article from BetterHelp. The site offers online counseling that is convenient and affordable. Simply fill out a short questionnaire to get matched with a therapist within 48 hours and enjoy an exclusive 20% off your first month.
The feeling of euphoria you get after an orgasm is often described as “the afterglow,” referencing the feeling that psychedelic drugs can give you. This sense of happiness and well-being is what makes sex feel so good, but it isn’t the only reason you might feel high after sex.
Sometimes, even when you have a positive experience between the sheets, there may be lingering feelings of anxiety that are difficult to shake. These feelings are known as postcoital dysphoria, or PCD, and can affect anyone, regardless of the quality or consensuality of their sex.
Having this type of anxiety after sex is normal and not something you should be ashamed of. However, if you find yourself experiencing this feeling frequently, it’s worth talking to a sex therapist about your concerns. A sex therapist can help you parse through the complex emotions that arise after sex, so you can figure out what’s really going on in your mind and body. They can also teach you techniques to reduce the effects of PCD so you can enjoy sex more fully in the future.