Post-coital Dysphoria (Post-sex Blues): Meaning and Causes

Post-coital Dysphoria (Post-sex Blues)

There are many proven body benefits of sex, and these include making it a lot easier to sleep, assisting in pain reduction as well as strengthening your immune system.

Nevertheless, you may experience an unexplainable feeling of agitation, deep sadness or tearfulness despite the sexual encounter being consensual and satisfactory.

Additionally, you can either become argumentative with your spouse or want to distance yourself thereby making this situation quite difficult for both parties involved.

Consequently, your partner may start thinking of deeper issues being at play hence begin blaming themselves for all your emotional response. It is because such a sign indicates an unsatisfactory sexual relationship typically.

It is therefore critical if you experience this condition to talk it out with your partner despite it being confusing at the start, to assure them and yourself too that everything is okay, and this is normal.

Thus, you will treat yourself and your spouse with gentleness and compassion since you will have accepted your condition and therefore how to deal with it.

However, post-coital dysphoria has never been widely researched and studies; therefore, there exists very little knowledge of its prevalence and correlation in either males or females.

According to the studies examining this sexual dysfunction estimate its general prevalence, in general, to be between 33% t0 43% for women and 14% to 34% for men.

Post-coital dysphoria was primarily thought to affect women who usually reported experiencing it at least once in their lives. An additional five percent sample stated they experienced post-sex blues numerous times over the past month.

Recent studies have nevertheless shown that men too experience post-coital dysphoria, something which for long was thought to be non-existent.

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Causes of Post-Coital Dysphoria

Post-coital Dysphoria (Post-sex Blues)

Whereas there is no adequate amount of research on this particular issue, discussed below are some possible reasons which cause post-sex blues.

Some Individuals Find Sex Triggering

Post-coital dysphoria occurs if you survived a sexual assault or other traumatizing events linked to sex. Thus, if you have a traumatic sexual history which usually affects you during your sexual encounters, it probably is because after that incident, and you still have not come to terms with your personal feelings towards sex.

Furthermore, this vulnerability hangover is frequently triggered by either doing too much than the body can handle or going too fast and its combination with superimposed shames results in severe sadness and withdrawal.

The consumption of consciousness-altering substances like drugs or alcohol allows you to relax and permit a drop of inhibitions; hence you can go faster than what might be comfortable and only to aggravate the situation.

It is because it makes you cross the boundaries which preferably would be ideal to hold in a conscious state as much as possible. Therefore, it is vital you get the necessary help to protect yourself in the future from those feelings coming up again.

Hormonal Shift

During sex, we typically have a higher level of dopamine than average, and to fight this, the body releases the prolactin hormone after sex. The release of the prolactin hormone causes a sudden drop in the dopamine levels; consequently, why you might experience post-sex blues.

Lack of Proper Communication

In some cases, the period after sex usually is to some degree terrible and awkward instead of being warm and loving. Moreover, this negative communication after sex usually revolves around one spouse being disappointed that the sex does not have the emotional connection they expect, or the sexual experience has not entirely been satisfying.

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Therefore, this hollow and low feeling after a sexual encounter when you feel vulnerable might be the reason behind you experiencing post-sex blues. Moreover, if the communication and sex afterward neither feels fulfilling or safe, it is entirely understandable for you to feel blue.

So, you need to pay close attention to that feeling hence try and understand what causes it and you will be better placed to avoid it in the future. This sadness usually a reasonable response to a condition which you did not feel right or meet your needs and is something you need to take note off seriously.

Subsequently, you will get to know what is missing from your sex life to provide you with fulfillment by taking the necessary actions.

Socialization Problem

Sadly, most of us are not raised in sex-positive environments; thereby, from an early age, we are taught that sex is something shameful which one ought not to engage in completely.

Moreover, this may be either be put emphasis on by being raised by parents who always tell you individuals who participate in sexual activities are either “slutty” or “dirty” or religions which greatly discourage sexual encounters. Consequently, you may end up internalizing these attitudes despite you not believing them.

After engaging in a passionate and fulfilling sexual activity and the trance-like state subsidies and come back to the complete composure, you start suffering from either regret of shame.

Furthermore, that freedom and vulnerability which felt great at the moment now begins to overwhelm you, and comparable to a hangover, shame rushes in. Consequently, you feel down on yourself, pull away from your spouse, shut down or suffer a crushing rush of sadness.

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Thus, whereas it can be challenging to change specific societal views towards sex, it is evident these extreme views do lead to devastating effects.


There are multiple different factors which result in post-coital dysphoria and can be both social and chemical, so, there is no definite cause which affects our feelings after sex.

Therefore, if you are struggling with post-coital dysphoria, you need to be generous with your self-care, additionally, know you are not the only one going through this struggle.

Furthermore, you need to carefully examine factors which possibly are causing you to develop this post-sex blues. Relationship problems, whether you are enjoying the sex you are having, and how you feel about your partner too are other reasons for the post-sex blues.

Lastly, it is ideal to seek the help of a sex therapist to help you deal with these feelings, and whereas this might be intense and scary, it is something worth trying to resolve the issue.

Even if no problem needs solving, therapy helps you talk openly about the experience you are going through hence enabling you to cope with post-coital dysphoria.

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