If you’ve experienced depression after intercourse, you aren’t alone.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, one in three of more than 200 young women surveyed have experienced “post-coital dysphoria” or “post-sex blues” following intercourse — even satisfactory intercourse.
One would assume that following great sex, we’re all left feeling spent, relaxed, rested and satiated. On the contrary, some of us feel great distress, want to curl up in a ball and cry for no apparent reason. Because there’s very little research surrounding this condition, it’s not easy to explain, and it’s challenging to diagnose.
What is known about post-sex blues is that immediately following consensual sexual activity, you may feel sadness, anxiety, depression, restlessness, regret and irritability. Luckily, this situation isn’t an everyday occurrence.
I can see where many social and psychological factors could play a huge role to how one feels after having sex. For example, if you just had sex in a “one-night stand” situation, following sex you may feel instant regret. It may even happen during sex.
If you’ve had sex “on the rebound” or with an ex-boyfriend/ex-partner you swore you’d never go back to, you wouldn’t need any clinical research to explain why you might feel depressed. It’s almost understandable in cases where great sex with the wrong partner could cause “post-sex blues.”
In many cases for women, having sex is associated with partnership, expression of love and care, physical desire, exclusivity and intimacy in a healthy relationship. If any of these are lacking or missing, leading up to or during the sexual experience the outcome (or “post-sex” results) are feelings of regret, anxiety, restlessness and the “What did I just do?” feeling.
As a woman, I can recall quite a few instances where I suffered from “post-coital dysphoria.” The reasons I attribute to this condition were bad timing, or decision making, being with the wrong partner, bad sex, and feelings of insecurity about the relationship or my self-image at the time.
“It can affect older women and men too,” says Michael Krychman, MD, a gynecologist and executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship in Newport Beach, CA. Dr. Krychman, who has treated patients of all ages with post-sex blues, describes the feeling as “buyer’s remorse.”
Psychologists and researchers do believe that having sex raises issues in the relationship that are beyond the bedroom and may influence some of these sad feelings. Let’s face it, how one views sex based on their upbringing, past and present experiences, religion and a variety of influences, can impact how one feels during and after a romp in the sac.
So what’s the cure? I’d offer that prevention may be one answer. I’m certainly not implying abstinence solves this issue, or you may just end up becoming more depressed.
If you truly value partnership and intimacy when it comes to sexual experiences, and want to avoid the post-sex blues, don’t jump in the sac for the physical satisfaction if the heart and mind don’t agree with it.
If you have self-esteem or body issues, these are things you may want to understand and address before getting involved with someone sexually. But more importantly, always talk to your family doctor, or get help from professionals, such as a sex therapist or counselor.
Post-sex blues happens to ten percent of women, so you’re definitely not alone. Choosing a great partner who understands your physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual needs may decrease your chances of this happening.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: The Weird Reason SO Many Women Suffer From The ‘Post-Sex Blues’.