Research/ Study

Prolactin: An integral player in hormonal politics

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By Jeremy P.W. Heaton, MD

Prolactin's close relationship to other hormones and neurotransmitters vital to sex, life, and aging merits review. Although prolactin hypersecretion occurs infrequently, its recognition provides an opportunity to treat a fundamental cause of sexual problems.

What is interesting about prolactin (PRL)? Most urologists know it only as a bit player in the androgen and erectile dysfunction (ED) arena. It is considered problematic (should the PRL levels be routinely measured in men with ED?) and is usually associated with alterations in desire or libido (although this is more legend than fact). We are inclined to forget that PRL plays similar but mirror image roles in female reproductive medicine, with the addition of eponymous roles in lactation.

Designer Genes: Women May Stray When Ovulation Peaks

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sleepless woman

Study suggests infidelity could be part of evolutionary call for desirable mates

Women who feel an urge for sex outside of their marriages might be hearing an evolutionary call to improve the species.

New research suggests that during ovulation, when women are ready to conceive, nature may encourage them to look beyond their male partners for a better gene pool, but only if they don't find their mates sexually attractive.

Sex may keep stress at bay

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public speakingAlthough scientists aren’t yet testing the benefits of intercourse without orgasm, here’s a report on a study demonstrating that the benefits of sex come from intercourse, not orgasm…and that oxytocin may explain those gains.

Anti-stress benefits of holding hands

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cuddle Some turn to yoga or t'ai chi, others swear by red wine. No stone has been left unturned in the age-old pursuit of a long and healthy life. But now medical researchers have concluded that the secret of longevity may lie in nothing more outlandish than what comes naturally to mothers the world over.

A good old-fashioned cuddle, say the scientists, can reduce heart disease, cut down stress and promote longevity. The researchers even advise nervous public speakers to indulge in a bit of hugging before they go on stage to face their audience.