Postcoital Dysphoria: Making Love Can Make Men Sad Too - Dream Health

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Monday 13 August 2018

Postcoital Dysphoria: Making Love Can Make Men Sad Too

Postcoital Dysphoria experienced by men too

Postcoital Dysphoria or PCD is a feeling of sadness or irritability after consensual sex according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine. Postcoital Dysphoria was mostly attributed to women. Feeling sad and emotional after sex was basically seen in women, but a new study indicates that men also go through Postcoital Dysphoria.

There was a study conducted by QUT researchers regarding Postcoital Dysphoria (PCD) in men. This was the first time they carried out this research and concluded that men too suffer from Postcoital Dysphoria (PCD). They experienced sadness, became teary-eyed or irritable after sex.

According to Masters student Joel Maczkowiack and Professor Robert Schweitzer from QUT’s School of Psychology and Counselling, Postcoital Dysphoria was experienced by women, but none of the earlier studies showed that men too experienced this condition.

Postcoital Dysphoria experienced by men too

They wrote a paper titled ‘Postcoital Dysphoria: Prevalence and Correlates among Males’. It was published by the international Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.

They had conducted a survey on 1,207 men for their study. The study was mostly on men in heterosexual relationships and the relationships were consensual. Some of them commented that they were felt empty while others were unsatisfied. They did not want to be touched and wanted to be left alone. Many felt sad, tearful or even irritable. Forty-one per cent of the men experienced Postcoital Dysphoria and 20 per cent had experienced it in the previous 4 weeks. Four per cent went through Postcoital Dysphoria on a regular basis.

One of the men surveyed said that he felt a self-loathing after the sexual activity. To overcome that feeling, he would distract himself by either going to sleep or doing something else or just lay down in silence till the feeling went away. He felt shame and had crying spells after the sexual act. His partner had crying spells but hers was rarer.

When research was conducted on women, 4.3 percent experienced Postcoital Dysphoria regularly, though it was not reported. Reports from Queensland University of Technology in Australia found that 46 per cent of women had Postcoital Dysphoria in the past.

One of the women who was married for 20 years said that post the sexual act she would go to the bathroom and cry. She felt that she was the only one to have this experience. Another woman too said that she would cry after sex even though she was in a loving relationship.

Professor Schweitzer found that going through Postcoital Dysphoria was not uncommon as many would believe.

What could possibly be the cause of Postcoital Dysphoria?

Professor Schweitzer said that the cause of Postcoital Dysphoria is not very clear. Based on a study that was conducted in 2011, they found higher rates of Postcoital Dysphoria in twins which showed a genetic cause.

Another theory was that Postcoital Dysphoria was due to ‘dopamine rebound effect’. It is basically the level of dopamine getting lowered after the excitement of sex. This could just be a hypothesis according to Professor Schweitzer.

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