1 in 3 women suffer post-sex blues

March 30, 2011

Post-sex blues is not a sexual behaviour commonly discussed, but a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) study of more than 200 young women has found one in three (32.9 per cent) had experienced the phenomenon at some point.

QUT Associate Professor Robert Schweitzer's research, published in the latest International Journal of , looked at the prevalence of postcoital dysphoria or the experience of negative feelings following otherwise satisfactory intercourse.

"While 32.9 per cent of women reported experiencing symptoms of postcoital dysphoria at least a little of the time in their life, what was even more surprising was that 10 per cent reported experiencing the symptoms some of the time or most of the time," said Professor Schweitzer from QUT's School of Psychology & Counselling.

"Under normal circumstances the resolution phase of sexual activity, or period just after sex, elicits sensations of well-being, along with psychological and physical relaxation.

"However, individuals who experience postcoital dysphoria may express their immediate feelings after in terms of melancholy, tearfulness, anxiety, irritability or feeling of restlessness."

Professor Schweitzer said one woman described feeling "melancholy" after sex.

"I did not associate the feeling with an absence of love or affection for my sexual partner nor with an absence of love or affection from them towards me, because it seemed so unconnected with them," she said.

Professor Schweitzer said the cause of such was virtually unknown.

"Research on the prevalence and causes of postcoital dysphroia has been virtually silent but internet searches reveal information on the subject is widely sought," he said.

"It has generally been thought that women who have experienced sexual abuse associate later sexual encounters with the trauma of the abuse along with sensations of shame, guilt, punishment and loss.

"This association is then purported to lead to sexual problems and the avoidance of sex."

But Professor Schweitzer said his study had instead found only limited correlation between sexual abuse and postcoital dysphoria.

"Psychological distress was also found to be only modestly associated with postcoital dysphoria," he said.

"This suggests other factors such as biological predisposition may be more important in understanding the phenomenon and identifying women at risk of experiencing postcoital dysphoria."

Professor Schweitzer's next stage of research will look at emotional characteristics of women who experience postcoital dysphoria.

"I want to look at how women view their 'sense of self'. Whether they are fragile or whether they are strong , and investigate whether this leads to their postcoital dysphoria," he said.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Drug found that induces apoptosis in myofibroblasts reducing fibrosis in scleroderma

December 15, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has found that the drug navitoclax can induce apoptosis (self-destruction) in myofibroblasts in mice, reducing the spread of fibrosis in scleroderma. In their paper ...

How defeating THOR could bring a hammer down on cancer

December 14, 2017
It turns out Thor, the Norse god of thunder and the Marvel superhero, has special powers when it comes to cancer too.

Researchers track muscle stem cell dynamics in response to injury and aging

December 14, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) describes the biology behind why muscle stem cells respond differently to aging or injury. The findings, published in Cell Stem Cell, ...

'Human chronobiome' study informs timing of drug delivery, precision medicine approaches

December 13, 2017
Symptoms and efficacy of medications—and indeed, many aspects of the human body itself—vary by time of day. Physicians tell patients to take their statins at bedtime because the related liver enzymes are more active during ...

Study confirms link between the number of older brothers and increased odds of being homosexual

December 12, 2017
Groundbreaking research led by a team from Brock University has further confirmed that sexual orientation for men is likely determined in the womb.

Potassium is critical to circadian rhythms in human red blood cells

December 12, 2017
An innovative new study from the University of Surrey and Cambridge's MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, has uncovered the secrets of the circadian rhythms in ...

6 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mysticshakra
5 / 5 (5) Mar 30, 2011
Is it any wonder in a nutty society that pushes sex in media while suppressing it in normal.life. Normal.things like nudity are called obscene. You are bound to end up with neurotic people.
Husky
5 / 5 (3) Mar 30, 2011
we males have developed an excellent strategie to avoid the hard come down from the extatic heights to everday reality, we just roll over and sleep immediately after the money has been shot.
neiorah
not rated yet Mar 30, 2011
Men are simple creatures after all.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2011
we males have developed an excellent strategie to avoid the hard come down from the extatic heights to everday reality, we just roll over and sleep immediately after the money has been shot.


Or placed on the dresser.
Caliban
not rated yet Apr 02, 2011
Seems to me that the obvious protocol for this research would be to include a comprehensive assessment of socioeconomic factors, education level, overall satisfaction with life, position, partner, family, et c, you know, the person's history and general outlook on life.

I suspect that there will be a strong correlation. If you feel limited, undervalued, disposable and doomed, then sex is only the briefest of respites, and may, under those circumstances, make the distinction between fleeting pleasure and grinding discontent even more apparent.

That might indeed, provide more "Bang" for the research "Buck".

Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Apr 03, 2011
Maybe their partners failed to perform properly, leaving the women dissapointed and disinterested.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.