Study: Postcoital Symptoms in a Convenience Sample of Men and Women

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This study is a tiny step forward as the researchers don't immediately paste their assumptions about causes all over their data (which Burri has done sometimes in the past - presuming that childhood abuse and abusive partners are the causes of dysphoria). However, they need to be controlling for internet porn use and frequency of climax/masturbation. We have seen both men and women who quit porn (and therefore cut way back on masturbation) report feeling much more pleasure during sex, including more enjoyable orgasms. Looks like there could well be such a thing as too much sexual stimulation.

Tweet about paper with excerpt:



Postcoital dysphoria (PCD) is a condition characterized by inexplicable feelings of tearfulness, sadness, and/or irritability. Previous research has mostly focused on these 3 symptoms, failing to explore other symptoms that can occur after sexual activity.


The aim of the present study was to get a more in-depth understanding of postcoital symptom variety, to compare the type and frequency of these symptoms in men and women, and to explore the context in which they manifest.


A convenience sample of 223 women and 76 men filled in an online survey consisting of a list of 21 symptoms and a set of additional questions.

Main Outcome Measure

The study outcomes were obtained using a study-specific questionnaire to assess postcoital symptoms, consisting of a list of 21 symptoms that form 4 domains and 2 additional questions that assess personal and interpersonal distress.


Of all participants, 91.9% reported any postcoital symptom over the past 4 weeks and 94.3% ever since they had been sexually active. The most common symptoms in women were mood swings and sadness, whereas in men, it was unhappiness and low energy. Men and women differed in the frequency of postcoital symptoms experienced ever since being sexually active, with women reporting more sadness, mood swings, frustration, and worthlessness. For 73.5% of individuals, the postcoital symptoms were present after consensual sexual intercourse, for 41.9%, after general sexual activity, and for 46.6% also, after masturbation. Of all participants, 33.9% said that they only experienced the symptoms after orgasm.

Clinical Implications

Postcoital symptoms are clearly more varied than previously suggested and are not related to classic “dysphoria” only. Hence, we propose to cease calling the phenomenon “postcoital dysphoria” and suggest to simply use the term “postcoital symptoms.”

Strength & Limitations

This is the first study ever to provide a more in-depth exploration of postcoital symptom variety. The sample was relatively small, and the representativeness and, therefore, generalizability of the results was limited, given that a convenience sample was used.


Our results indicate that postcoital symptoms are a multifaceted phenomenon which shows similar expression in men and women. The symptoms are clearly more varied not related to classic “dysphoria” only.