Safe sex seems to be quite different from great sex, as researchers discovered that women who do not use condoms when they have sex are less vulnerable to depression and less likely to attempt suicide compared to women who practice sex with condoms and women that are sexually inactive.
This finding points to the conclusion that semen contains powerful mood-altering molecules.
Study author Dr. Gordon G. Gallup, a psychologist at the State University of New York in Albany, also discovered that women who routinely practiced intercourse without condoms turned increasingly depressed in time, after their last sexual contact, fact that suggests that some semen chemicals could be addictive.
This issue was not observed in women whose partners regularly employed condoms.
The research made on 293 college women also discovered that those females who did not use condoms were the most prone to initiate sex and to actively look for new partners when their relationship ended. "These women are more vulnerable to the rebound effect, which suggests that there is a chemical dependency," said Gallup.
Semen is known to contain several hormones like testosterone, estrogen, prolactin, luteinizing hormone and prostaglandins, which can pass through the vagina's walls into the bloodstream and elevate mood.
The research also assessed variable factors like the contraception method, frequency of sexual intercourse, and the women's perception on their relationships.
Gallup admits that women who regularly practice sex without condoms could have common personality traits that turn them less vulnerable to depression.
Still, the lack of condom use is a very risky sexual behavior, and other approaches detected no link between high-risk sexual behavior and lower depression levels.
Gallup sustains that his study is "the first serious attempt to investigate the effect of semen chemistry on women". Gallup replicated the discoveries within a sample of 700 female subjects to see if "semen withdrawal" makes women more vulnerable to depression when they are premenstrual, menopausal or have just given birth, periods when many women don't have sex.