Many Women May Feel Sad, Anxious After Sex – Described as Postcoital Dysphoria

Posted on May 25th, 2011
Posted in Depression

Many Women May Feel Sad, Anxious After Sex - Described as Postcoital DysphoriaThough few women talk about it, a study says around a third experience “postcoital dysphoria,” or negative emotions after sex.

The phenomenon seems to affects females in a younger age group more often than other age groups, and 10 percent said they had the post-sex blues either following most intercourse experiences or some of them. Researchers at Queensland University of Technology conducted the study on 200 women, with results published in the International Journal of Sexual Health.

Typically, says researcher and professor Robert Schweitzer, the conclusion of sex should bring pleasant feelings or positive feelings along with a state of calmness. For the women with postcoital dysphoria, however, feelings were the opposite – anxious, irritable or sad. Some women who said they felt sad or blue after sex said the negative feelings weren’t related to feeling unloved or the act itself. The feelings seemed to be relatively unknown in origin, but it’s an area that’s gaining research interest, says an article from ScienceDaily.

Some speculate postcoital dysphoria is linked with feelings of guilt or shame associated with a history of sexual trauma or abuse. These feelings can lead to a woman wanting to refrain from sex all together. However, Schweitzer’s research hasn’t found a significant relationship yet between a woman having a history of sexual violence or abuse and her experiences with postcoital dysphoria.

Further research will explore other possible causes for postcoital dysphoria, such as emotional factors related to self-image. Schweitzer’s next research phases will look at the possibility of some women being biologically pre-conditioned to have the condition.

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