Post-sex blues not so uncommon

Post-sex blues

It turns out that being hit with a case of the post-sex blues isn’t as uncommon as many women might think. New research is shining a light on the mystery known as postcoital dysphoria (PCD).

“I think the important finding is that there is now robust data indicating that a proportion of women consistently experience some level of dysphoria following sexual intercourse within consensual sexual–and probably loving–relationships,” says lead author Dr. Robert Schweitzer.

PCD often takes the form of tearfulness, depression, aggression or anxiety following sex. In a recent study, Schweitzer and his teamed reviewed the responses of 230 female university students who’d completed an online survey. What they found was that nearly half (46 percent) had indeed experienced PCD symptoms at some point in their lives.

Over 5 percent reported experiencing post-sex blues within a month of the survey. Schweitzer adds that other data suggests similar rates in males.

“It’s difficult to talk about implications as this is a phenomenon which we really do not understand; and for people experiencing postcoital dysphoria, it is even more confusing,” he says. “I think that normalizing this for a small proportion of women is important. I have certainly had feedback via emails that there are women who feel relieved that they are not the ‘only ones in the world’ to have such experiences.”

According to Schweitzer, it isn’t uncommon for women with PCD symptoms to experience an altered sense of self. This, in turn, can lead to diminished sexual- and self-confidence.

The study’s findings, however, were limited to a small group of women of similar age. At this point, what it all means for the general population remains unclear.

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