Men with hypersexual disorder may have higher levels of oxytocin in their blood than men without the disorder, according to a small study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Hypersexual disorder involves excessive, persistent sexual behaviors related to various mood states, with an impulsivity component and experienced loss of control.
Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland. It plays a key role in sexual behavior, and abnormal levels of the hormone may contribute to hypersexual disorder.
We discovered that men with compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) had higher oxytocin levels compared with healthy men. Cognitive behavioral therapy led to a reduction in both hypersexual behavior and oxytocin levels."
Andreas Chatzittofis, M.D., Ph.D., University of Cyprus Medical School in Nicosia, Cyprus and Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden
The researchers analyzed the blood samples of 64 men with hypersexual disorder and 38 healthy men and found the hypersexual men had higher levels of oxytocin in their blood. Thirty men with hypersexual disorder went through a cognitive behavioral therapy program and saw a significant reduction in their oxytocin levels after treatment.
"Oxytocin plays an important role in sex addiction and may be a potential drug target for future pharmacological treatment," Chatzittofis said.
Flanagan, J., et al. (2022) High Plasma Oxytocin Levels in Men With Hypersexual Disorder. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgac015.