It’s probably not something any of us talk about much, even amongst our closest friends, but according to Associate Professor of Psychology and Counselling at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Robert Schweitzer, around one in three young women have experienced ‘post sex blues’.
The study, published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, also showed that ten per cent of women experienced this more often than not.
“Under normal circumstances ... the time just after sex elicits sensations of well-being along with psychological and physical relaxation.
“However, individuals who experience [post sex blues] may express their immediate feelings after intercourse in terms of melancholy, tearfulness, anxiety, irritability or a feeling of restlessness,” said Professor Schweitzer.
The study deals with situations of consensual intercourse.
Professor Schweitzer said the cause of such negative feelings is virtually unknown. So to help, a research team at QUT is conducting a further study trying to understand why.
"The original findings are so counter intuitive. Everyone imagines sex as an enjoyable experience but there seems to be a group of people who, in fact, experience distress following intercourse.
"It's not easy to explain and the area is highly under-researched. There are few published studies on sex."
The follow-up study involves confidential interviews with women who experience symptoms of post-sex blues such as distress or nostalgia following intercourse.
"We want to gain a better understanding of women's experience following consensual sex," Professor Schweitzer said.
"This study will hopefully help people who experience post-coital dysphoria realise that they are not alone," he said.
"Once we understand the experience we can start thinking about the role of clinicians in assisting people to understand and to address issues causing concern."
To participate in the study, please contact researcher, Geoff Francis, on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0449 208 179.