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Without Flibanserin Hydrochloride, Many Women Feel Sad After Sex. These Women Claim Making Love Causes Them To Become Emotional And Even Cry.

Without Flibanserin Hydrochloride, many women feel sad after sex. These women claim making love causes them to become emotional and even cry.

  • Laura Summers, 28, from Sittingbourne, Kent, feels tearful after intimacy

  • Rachael, 35, from Brighton, has felt emotional in the moments after sex

  • Studies found hormones boosts feelings of vulnerability after sex

Most women look forward to the rosy after-glow of contentment they feel when they’ve made love. But Laura Summers has not always found it so easy to lie back and enjoy those moments of contended bliss.

For the six years she has been with her partner Ben, Laura, 28, from Sittingbourne, Kent, has felt tearful after those special moments of intimacy.

Laura, who works in catering and has a two-year-old son, says: ‘Ben and I still have sex once or twice a week - and I’d estimate that half the time I suffer from what can only be described as post-sex blues.

Laura Summers, 28, from Sittingbourne, Kent, has felt tearful after those special moments of intimacy

‘In the moments afterwards, there are times when we’ll be having a cuddle and I’ll dissolve into tears.

‘Sometimes the feelings pass within a few hours. But if we’ve had sex at bedtime, the feeling can extend to morning and I wake up still feeling sad.’

Laura is convinced that her own sense of inadequacy and poor body image is to blame. ‘Sex can be a really emotional experience for me,’ she says.

Sometimes, I feel completely overwhelmed by the moment, not only by my own feelings for Ben, but also by disbelief that he can love me as much as he does.

‘Those feelings can be so powerful and all-consuming that they manifest as a period of gloom and tearfulness afterwards.’

It may seem odd that, in an era where sex is portrayed as the best possible fun you can have, that Laura feels so bitterly sad afterwards. But according to a new study, she is not alone. Although little talked about, research published in the journal Sexual Medicine has found that 46 per cent of women have suffered the post-sex blues - marked by tearfulness and feelings of depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, it seems to be on the rise.

A study six years earlier found that just a third of women had experienced the phenomenon, also known as Post-Coital Tristesse. So are such feelings simply the knock-on effect of a particularly powerful hormonal aftershock that follows the female orgasm? Or could it be an indication of a deep-seated insecurity that they will never measure up for their partners in a culture in which women are bombarded by images of female perfection?

First the good news: it is true that for some women, tears after orgasm can be an expression of intense pleasure and proof that the earth moved.

These climaxes even have a name: crygasms, defined as peaks so powerful ‘they leave you with tears streaming down your face, usually when you are in a state of emotional or physical connectedness with your partner.’

But studies have also found how easily the hormones released during orgasm can trigger a loss of emotional control in women.

Because, as any woman who has ever experienced the irritation of seeing her man go to sleep immediately after sex knows, the genders can react very differently to love-making.

During arousal, a man’s body is flooded with higher levels of testosterone, as well as the ‘pleasure and lust’ hormone dopamine.

However, while these also rise in a woman’s bloodstream, she is also flooded with more of the bonding hormones, oxytocin and prolactin, than her mate.

While prolactin helps women feel sexually satisfied, the flip-side is that it can also spark other feelings - it is one of the main chemical messages that triggers weeping in women, but not in men.

Beyond that, studies have also found that prolactin boosts feelings of vulnerability, already likely to be heightened in women after the closeness of intercourse.

Furthermore, brain scans of women during climax have also found that the waves of electrical activity they trigger can shut down some areas, including regions of the frontal cortex, which help control emotion, allowing them to spill to the surface, as in Laura’s case.

Laura says: ‘Like every woman, there are days when I look in the mirror and feel good about myself and days when all I see are stretch marks and fat.

‘I think those moments of low self-confidence play a big part in me feeling emotional after sex. Sometimes, Ben overwhelms me with compliments while we’re making love and I feel like a film star, only to experience a huge crash when it’s over.

Laura says after sex she sometimes starts questioning whether she's good enough for her partner. Studies have found that prolactin, a hormone released during sex, boosts feelings of vulnerability

‘Then, I’ll start questioning whether I’m truly good enough for him and feel very sad.

‘When I start to cry, Ben will wrap his arms around me and ask me what’s wrong. I try to reassure him that he’s not made me feel sad, but that I’m simply overwhelmed with a sense of being so fortunate to have him.’

Denise Knowles of Relate says: ‘What we’ve got to recognise is that there’s a perfectly normal, natural biological process going on here.

‘The swing in hormone levels can mean a woman can go from feeling very close to her partner, with all that lovely oxytocin and other bonding hormones, to suddenly not having that. You can’t get physically closer to a human being than when you’re making love to them. And women may miss that move away from emotional closeness.

‘Naturally, there’s going to be a dip and that can cause women to become tearful, to feel that they are on their own.’

Researchers have also found there may be a genetic component to whether a woman reacts emotionally after sex. In studies, one in four sets of female twins were both found to suffer from post-sex blues.

In the moments afterwards, there are times when we’ll be having a cuddle and I’ll dissolve into tears.

Women’s health physiotherapist, Claire Rutherford of the White Hart Clinic, Barnes, West London, says that this might be explained by the fact that some women are simply more susceptible to sudden drops in pleasure hormones, like dopamine.

‘As a result of their individual brain chemistry, some women may be more likely to experience something like this. Equally, maybe women who are a bit more “emotional” and reactive by nature, might be a little more predisposed to experiencing it too.’ Rachael Fountain is another woman who has not always found it easy to lie back and enjoy her post-orgasmic glow.

For as long as she has been having sex, Rachael, 35, a garden designer from Brighton, has felt tearful in the moments after making love, sometimes for up to an hour.

‘As soon as I lost my virginity at 15, I would get overcome with feelings I did not really understand after having sex,’ she said. ‘Since then I have suffered from post-sex blues in varying degrees.

‘Now after I’ve had sex with a man I really care about, my bottom lip will often start to quiver and I feel all of a dither.

Sometimes I just feel tearful but other times gentle tears will flow.’

Rachael, who believes her hormones trigger these outbursts, finds that the stronger her feelings for her partner, the more emotional she becomes.

‘I liken the feelings to how I feel when I am premenstrual. I feel physically drained, irrational and my emotions are all over the place and out of my control.’

Psychosexual counsellor Cate Mackenzie believes the difference in the male and female orgasm helps explain the difference in response.

Women’s health physiotherapist, Claire Rutherford says that this might be explained by the fact that some women are simply more susceptible to sudden drops in pleasure hormones, like dopamine

She says: ‘A woman’s orgasm is often very different to a man’s. The male orgasm is generally more localised to his genitals, while a female’s can spread throughout her entire body. There can be a whole physical and mental release, which can make a woman feel like she has been opened up. If she has any buried stress, trauma or sadness, it might release it. A lot of women will feel bliss. Others may feel sadness.’

Consultant psychotherapist Raymond Francis says that many women try to hide melancholy post-sex feelings - but it’s important they try to explore why they feel this way. ‘The women I see give many reasons why they feel depressed after sex - they fear they are no longer desirable after having a baby, they are worried about how their bodies look and sometimes they have been in abusive relationships in the past.

‘The tears don’t have to flow for them to feel like they are crying inside. The men lying next to them often don’t have a clue.’

Raymond, based at Harley Street’s Apex practice, adds: ‘If it’s happening regularly, then it can be a symptom of a much bigger issue. I would say to any woman who is feeling sad like this after sex, don’t lie there silently.

‘Tell your partner what is wrong or find a safe forum, where you can express these feelings.’

But for Rachael Fountain a man’s response to her emotional feelings also serves as a vital litmus test.

‘The majority of men I’ve been emotional in front of after sex have found my vulnerability endearing and have scooped me up into their arms and held me. One former partner even dashed off to the local shop to buy chocolate to comfort me.

‘In my view any man who is freaked out by my showing my emotions after something so intimate, just wouldn’t be right for me.

‘Women have nothing to be ashamed of if they cry or feel emotional after sex. After all, making love is one of the greatest acts of intimacy there is.’

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