Oxytocin Nasal Spray Believed to Help Marriages Last

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As the divorce rate in America continues to look dismal, researchers are working on ways to keep couples together.

One promising discovery is the intranasal "love hormone," which is a spray containing bonding hormone oxytocin. Once used, it is supposed to make couples feel as if they had just fallen in love again.

A study done by Oxford looked at long-term issues in committed relationships including how much marriage counseling helps people stay together. 

What researchers already know about long-term relationships and marriage is that it comes to a slow burn of lasting commitment after the state of "limerance," or hormone-drunk, passionate love, wears off.

In the early part of romantic relationships, hormones like oxytocin and dopamine work together to create a love-related chemistry. This is often referred to as the "honeymoon stage." These chemicals are also released during labor and while breastfeeding.

Over time, these hormones are released less frequently in couples. Scientists believe manually injecting oxytocin into the body could help couples through difficult times. 

In the study titled, "Could intranasal oxytocin be used to enhance relationships?" scientists debated whether the hormone could help relationships last. They also noted that "well-functioning romantic relationships are important for long-term health and well-being, but they are often difficult to sustain."

This is due to an "underlying tension between our psychobiological natures, culture/environment, and modern love and relationship goals."

They believe that a "possible solution to this predicament is to intervene at the level of psychobiology, enhancing partners' interpersonal connection through neurochemical modulation."

Sources: Inquisitr, ABC