Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which is naturally produced by a woman`s body during childbirth. Pitocin is commonly used to induce or augment labor, and while it can be a helpful tool in certain situations, it can also make contractions more painful.
But why do pitocin contractions hurt more? Let`s take a closer look.
First, it`s important to understand the role that oxytocin plays in labor. Oxytocin is sometimes called the “love hormone” because it`s associated with feelings of happiness and bonding. But during labor, its function is to stimulate contractions and help the cervix to dilate.
When a woman`s body naturally produces oxytocin during labor, the hormone is released in small, pulsating amounts. This gradual release allows the body to adjust to the increasing intensity of contractions, and also allows for the release of endorphins – natural painkillers that help to ease the discomfort of labor.
In contrast, pitocin is given through an IV and delivers a continuous, steady stream of the hormone. This can cause contractions to be more intense and painful than they would be naturally, and can also make it harder for a woman`s body to produce the endorphins needed to cope with the pain.
Another factor that can contribute to the increased pain of pitocin contractions is the speed at which they occur. In a natural labor, contractions generally start out relatively mild and gradually build in intensity and frequency. But with pitocin, contractions can start out strong and close together, giving a woman`s body little time to adjust.
Finally, it`s worth noting that some women may be more sensitive to pitocin than others. This can be due to a variety of factors, including the strength of a woman`s uterine muscles, her pain tolerance, and the position of the baby.
So why do pitocin contractions hurt more? In short, it`s because pitocin disrupts the natural hormonal balance of labor, causing contractions to be more intense and less manageable. While pitocin can be a helpful tool in certain situations, it`s important to carefully consider the risks and benefits before deciding whether to use it, and to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.