Post-coital dysphoria: Sexual health study suggests almost half of women will experience PCD symptoms

46 per cent of female university students reported PCD symptoms at least once in their lifetime

Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 06 October 2015 12:52
Comments

Around 150 AD, the prominent Greek physician Galen wrote: “Every animal is sad after coitus except the human female and the rooster.”

No disrespect to Galen, but feelings of melancholy after sex aren’t as rare among women as you might think.

In a paper published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine this week, 46 per cent of female university students reported PCD symptoms at least once in their lifetime.

Over five per cent of the 230 respondents to an online survey said they had experienced PCD symptoms “a few times” within the past four weeks. There appeared to be no relationship between PCD and intimacy in close relationships.

Studies have shown that 10 per cent of women experience what is known as “post-sex blues”, or “post-coital dysphoria” following intercourse; a condition characterised by tearfulness, anxiety, agitation, a sense of melancholy or depression, or aggression.

In another Australian study published in the International Journal of Sexual Health in 2011, a third of women said they felt depressed even after satisfactory sex.

Researchers from the Queensland Institute of Technology have theorised that hormonal shifts which occur after orgasm, which can also trigger post-coital headaches, could be to blame.

Lead researcher Dr Robert Schweitzer, of QUT’s School of Psychology and Counseling, said that the findings build upon previous research “investigating the correlates of sexual functioning in women”.

“The results of our original research in this area have now been confirmed in an international multinational study on negative postcoital emotions, which appear to have evolutionary functions,” he noted.

The UK's favourite sex positions

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in