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Why do we feel sad after sex?


Maybe you know the feeling: you’re lying in bed with the beloved man after good sex, and I want to cry. Everything was perfect — a few minutes ago, you experienced an orgasm, and now I feel inexplicable sadness and anxiety. Do not rush to look for what he or you did wrong. Most likely, you are faced with a post-coital dysphoria.

What it is

A sense of melancholy, sadness, or irritability right after sex is called postcoital dysphoria. Those who have experienced it describe it as being “the desire to cry”, “feeling of emptiness and resentment”, “an almost physical feeling of sadness.” Postcoital dysphoria is not associated with the quality of sexual intercourse may occur even after great sex with a loved partner.

How many people experience post-coital dysphoria

post-coital dysphoria

At first, it was believed that to cry and be sad after sex I want mainly women. According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicineв 2015, 46% of women at least once experienced a worsening of mood after sex, and 5% have experienced this condition several times a month.

A recent study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy disproved the belief that men are sex delivers only pleasant emotions.

Researchers interviewed more than 1,200 men who are in the long-term heterosexual relationship. At least once in the life of post-coital dysphoria experienced 41% of all respondents, 20% said it happened to them in the previous four weeks, while 4% admitted that having sex regularly makes them an inexplicable feeling of sadness and irritability.

Why after the sex mood decreases

The fact that postcoital dysphoria is a common phenomenon does not mean that it has been well studied. As the professor of psychology at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia Robert Schweizer explains, the research data of this state are contradictory.

It is known that postcoital dysphoria exists in healthy long-term relationships. The study of twins showed that the reason for the decline in the mood after sexual intercourse may be a genetic predisposition.

Another theory of the emergence of postcoital dysphoria is simply the effect of restoring the level of dopamine in the body, which decreases after sex.

According to Schweitzer, most likely, postcoital dysphoria is caused by a combination of several factors: hormonal imbalance due to hormone surges during orgasm, unstable psychological state.

In order to get a more accurate idea of the causes of dysphoria, you need to continue research. However, as Schweizer notes, it is especially difficult to obtain objective data from men: because of cultural attitudes, they are reluctant to complain that they feel bad after sex.

At least, scientists have already answered the most important question – postcoital dysphoria does not necessarily mean that you have a problem with a partner or something is wrong with you.

How to cope with post-coital dysphoria

If the feeling of unexplained sadness after sex overtakes regularly, make sure that there are no objective reasons. Sometimes post-coital dysphoria arises from the fact that the woman was initially against sexual intercourse or experiencing contradictory feelings to the partner. Until you eliminate the cause of their dissatisfaction, dysphoria will not work and may even intensify.

If you’re convinced that you have everything in order, and the change of mood does not last long, then most likely it really is in the race of hormones. At this point, it is better not to indulge in negative thoughts and not to engage in a showdown. Maybe we should have a little privacy, escape the tape of social networks or eat something tasty.

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Written by Hannah

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