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Postcoital Symptoms in a Convenience Sample of Men and Women

Burri, Andrea and Hilpert, Peter (2020) Postcoital Symptoms in a Convenience Sample of Men and Women The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Abstract

Abstract Introduction 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. Aim 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusion 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.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Burri, Andrea
Hilpert, Peterp.hilpert@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 27 January 2020
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.12.009
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 International Society for Sexual Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Postcoital Symptoms; Epidemiology; Frequency; Postcoital Dysphoria
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 03 Feb 2020 13:56
Last Modified : 03 Feb 2020 13:56
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/853554

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