Sex is such a sensuous topic that whenever you hear this term, it interests you. And, that’s absolutely normal. But, do you feel interested and happy even after being intimate? If your nodding states a ‘no’, you are suffering from a sexual condition called post-coital dysphoria. It is characterized by a burst of negative emotions after the act is over. According to a 2015 study published in the journal Sexual Medicine, the symptoms of post-coital dysphoria are quite common among women. But, that’s nothing to worry about. You are not alone in this. There is an array of people facing the same issue, including men. International Society of Sexual Medicine defines post-coital dysphoria as “The feeling of extreme sadness, anxiety, or aggression that may be experienced just after consensual sex.” This condition may occur even after a loving and satisfying sexual experience. Notably, the extent and duration for which a person is affected with post-sex blues varies from individual to individual. You may feel normal after a few hours or you remain depressed and even cry for days.
WHAT CAUSES POST-COITAL DYSPHORIA?
Before you put your partner under questions and blame him about the emotional response, it is necessary to understand if a deeper issue is at play. Let’s know what science has to say about it.
The exact cause behind post-sex blues is yet unknown, however, scientists believe that a shift in hormones may be responsible for that. During sex, your body releases dopamine hormones that trigger positive feelings, however, right after sex, in some people, prolactin hormone is released suddenly. This happens due to the neurochemical mechanism of satiety in the brain that works to make us pay attention to other aspects of life too. Well, this is one of the reasons for your problem.
There are people, particularly women who live in an environment where sex is a taboo and it is being considered as something dirty and wrong to do. Viewing sex in a negative light is what makes them feel guilty about their actions. They feel indulging in sex shows that they are characteristically bad. This is what leads to a sudden experience of sadness after sex.
A traumatic experience in the past
If you have gone through a sexual assault in the past or had a disturbing sexual experience with your previous partner, you may develop symptoms of sexual dysphoria. You may feel depressed or sad even after healthy sex.
HOW TO GET RID OF POST-COITAL DYSPHORIA?
Yes, you can get out of this dark phase. If you need medical help, you can talk to a sexologist or psychiatrist. But this problem can be self-treated as well. You just need to make some effort. Talk to your partner about your feelings. He may lend helping hands and this will be good for your relationship too. Indulge in calming exercises like meditation, listening to soft music, or even taking a warm bath. Give space to yourself and breathe. Go out and do things that make you feel happy. Additionally, look for any pattern in your symptoms. If they come during your menstrual cycle, be ready and equipped to handle them well. In case, your PCD symptoms are frequent, take a break from sex for sometimes. If that doesn’t work, you can seek a professional’s help.