The Effects of Ecstasy on Women and Men

Do you wonder what are the effects of ecstasy on women and men? Keep on reading to find a lot of information about ecstasy.

Classified as an empathogen or drug that increases your feelings of compassion and empathy towards others, the U.S. government and many other countries around the globe consider ecstasy or MDMA (3.4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) as an illegal substance.

Ecstasy also acts as a nervous system stimulant to boot. When taken at high doses, ecstasy could cause floating sensation and perceptual changes. You can also suffer from side effects like vomiting and seizures to boot.

What is Ecstasy (MDMA)?

MDMA or ecstasy has a longer name — methylenedioxymethamphetamine — which to some people might sound like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (from Mary Poppins, by the way), but to most (if not all) people, also spells trouble.

Sometimes, people refer to ecstasy as XTC, X, Adam, E, Roll, A, 007, and Molly. In the streets, it’s known as caps, pingers, and eckies. You typically swallow the drug as a tablet, but you can buy it in powder form too.

Ecstasy exists for the purpose of getting someone high. Thus, the drug became popular with young adults and teenagers who go to rave parties, concerts, and clubs.

Pills come in various colors with logos or pictures on them. Some reports of a crystal variant of MDMA or crystal ecstasy have become public as well.

The Effects of Ecstasy on Men vs. Women

Ecstasy may be known as MDMA or 3.4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, but in actuality, it’s more like ecstasy contains MDMA as a key ingredient. Taking it results in euphoria, mood boosting, and empathy when taken because it mainly makes your brain release serotonin or 5-HT.

Serotonin plays a crucial role when it comes to dealing with anxiety or mood disorders, which scientists view as more of a female issue rather than a male one in terms of cultural norms.

At present, you cannot find systemic data on the subjective effects of MDMA on females when compared to males. However, studies have been conducted regarding its physical effects on both sexes.

Chart on How Ecstasy Affects Each Sex or Gender

Sex/Gender Ecstasy Effects
Men
  • Euphoria
  • More energy
  • Serotonin release
  • Heightened senses
  • Empathy for others
  • Perceptual changes
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Psychoactive effects
  • Thought disturbances
  • Calmness and relaxation
  • Fear of loss of body control
  • Affects anxiety and mood disorders
  • Higher increases in blood pressure in men than women
Women
  • Shares many of the same effects as with men as cited above but certain effects end up stronger in women, particularly:
  • Perceptual changes
  • Psychoactive effects
  • Thought disturbances
  • Fear of loss of body control
  • Blood pressure increases lower in women than men
  • Acute adverse effects are also more frequent in women

Studies on the Effects of Ecstasy on Sex or Gender


According to three studies composed of 74 subjects—20 women and 54 men—the ecstasy drug impacts women far more per kilogram relative to weight compared to men. In these studies, the researchers administered oral doses of MDMA ranging from 70 to 150 milligrams (1.35 to 1.8 milligrams per kilogram).

They utilized double-blind placebo-controlled conditions to cover their bases and to ensure the effects rooted from the MDMA itself. They then assessed the subjective peak changes using standardized psychometric rating scales.

They also used physiological measures such as heart rate, blood pressure, and peripheral body temperature. After 24 hours, they also examined the adverse drug effects during their experiment sessions.

  • The Effects of Ecstasy on Both Sexes: On both sexes (or on both the traditional gender binary), ecstasy causes you to become more energetic, empathetic for others, and euphoric due to increased amounts of serotonin in your brain. You can also have lowered inhibitions or suffer from perceptual changes at higher doses.

    Ecstasy also causes psychoactive effects and thought disturbances that run in contrast with its calmness and relaxation effects. It affects mood or anxiety disorders while also inducing a fear of loss of bodily control.

  • The Effects of Ecstasy on Men:All of the effects listed above that affect both sexes also affects men across the board. When men take the designer drug, they can expect extra simulation of their senses that could cause hallucinations.

    Men also take the party drug to increase their libido and enjoy its effects on their inhibitions. With that said, higher increases in blood pressure happen more often in men than in women.

  • The Effects of Ecstasy on Women:Women share many of the same MDMA effects as with men as cited above. However, certain effects end up stronger in women, particularly perceptual changes, psychoactive effects, thought disturbances, and fear of loss of body control.

    Acute adverse effects are also more frequent in women. Ecstasy produces stronger responses in women than men like with alcohol. In contrast, blood pressure increases lower in women than in men.

Results on Ecstasy’s Effects on the Sexes

The study shows that MDMA’s psychoactive effects ended up more intense in women compared to men. Females scored higher for MDMA-induced fear of loss of bodily control, thought disturbances, and perceptual changes.

The studies established a clear correlation between MDMA dosage and the intensity of such perceptual changes in women. Acute negative effects more frequently occurred in females compared to their male counterparts.

Meanwhile, men instead had much higher blood pressure increases compared to women. Otherwise, they shared the same experiences when it came to ecstasy effects.

Ecstasy Has a Similar Impact to Alcohol Gender-Wise

The impact of MDMA, like the impact of alcohol, is gendered. Even with equal ecstasy doses per kilogram of body weight, the impact on women compared to men consistently showed increased susceptibility to 5-HT release.

The results of the study illustrates that even with height and body weight variables taken into account, increasing doses of ecstasy produces much more intense hallucinogenic or hallucinatory effects on perception in both sexes, particularly women.

How Long It Takes for Ecstasy to Take Effect

This empathogen has taken the party scene by storm due to the fact that it also acts as a stimulant. To be more specific, it quickens the central nervous system’s inner workings.

You can usually feel the effects of ecstasy about 20 minutes to 60 minutes after taking it. This then can last for 3 to 4 hours. The comedown or you returning to normal as MDMA wears off could even last 1 to 2 days or up to 7 days.

The Dangers of Ecstasy Overdose

At higher doses, it alters your perception of reality altogether. Thus, you can say it offers hallucinogenic properties as well. Users typically use the drug as a mood enhancer while going to nightclubs or parties.

At the highest doses or whenever you overdose, the illicit substance can cause vomiting, seizures, and other side effects that might lead to outright death.

In case of an emergency, you should dial 911 or local emergency numbers to call an ambulance immediately. Responding too late can lead to irreversible complications and fatalities.

Why People Take Ecstasy


Users believe ecstasy will make them go for days without rest while also feeling good all the while. However, ecstasy users don’t realize how dangerous MDMA can get.

They believe it’s as harmless as marijuana (which you’re unlikely to overdose on but can do a number on your throat, especially if you regularly smoke marijuana cigarettes). As a street drug, drug pushers sell ecstasy as one of their most common illegal drugs.

During the last couple of years, ecstasy sent many users to the E.R. due to its dangerous side effects, particularly the one that makes you drink excessive amounts of water until you drown your brain or, on the flipside, dehydration and overheating.

How is Ecstasy Used or Taken?

You can swallow MDMA in pill or tablet form or snort it in powder form. The hallucinogenic stimulant makes you experience an “ecstatic” high characterized by a rush of good feelings or vibes.

Your feelings feel more intense as well when under the influence of ecstasy. This intensity happens regardless of whether you’re feeling negative or positive moods or emotions. The effects of the drug last up to 6 hours with lingering side effects of up to 2 days.

The Negative Side Effects of Ecstasy on Both Sexes

Ecstasy increases your heart rate and can cause nausea, sweating, chills, blurred vision, clenched teeth, and dry mouth. The drug can also make you feel paranoid, anxious, and confused. You might think someone is trying to plot against you or hurt you while you’re high.

Ecstasy could also damage your brain cells, particularly those involved in memory and thinking. If you were to consume this drug, your body can dangerously overheat while doing physical activities like dancing in a rave party.

The Complications of Ecstasy on Both Sexes

Overheating can then worsen to the point of muscle breakdown. Complications related to ecstasy overdose include damage to the kidney, liver, and heart. You could even die from taking the illicit substance.

Ecstasy consumption also causes seizure, swelling of the brain, potential brain damage, and even death. Just remember that women can take a lesser dose than men but still experience drastically pronounced side effects.

Risks of Ecstasy on Both Sexes

People suffering from psychiatric disorders, issues with mood, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and epilepsy end up becoming more prone to the negative effects of ecstasy.

If you were to mix ecstasy with other drugs such as ice, amphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, and certain prescription drugs (such as antidepressants), the cocktail becomes extra dangerous or even fatal.

In the same vein, women also tend to be more prone to psychoactive or perceptual harm compared to men when taking ecstasy as well.

If you’re a man and you’re suffering from high blood pressure and/or heart disease, they’re more prone to circulatory harm compared to women.

How Ecstasy Affects the Body of Both Sexes

Ecstasy primary and side effects vary from individual to individual depending on factors such as:

  • The amount or strength of the dose
  • How you individually react to the drug
  • Your state of mind and physical makeup
  • Whether it’s been mixed with other drugs
  • When you first use the drug vs. regular users
  • Gender (blood pressure for men and perceptual changes for women)

After taking MDMA, effects happen around 20 minutes and can last from 3 to 4 hours. They include the following primary (intentional) and side (unintentional and potentially adverse) effects.

  • Nausea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Heightened senses
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Sweating and dehydration
  • Jaw clenching and teeth grinding
  • Accelerated heart rate and breathing
  • Tingling skin and muscle aches and pains
  • Euphoria and feeling energetic and confident
  • Feeling affectionate and an increased sex drive (libido)
  • Excessive thirst – drinking large amounts of water (can result in death)

Aside from such symptoms and effects, ecstasy takers who take the drug in strong or huge doses may experience additional effects like the following,

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • ‘Coming down’ from an ecstasy (MDMA) high
  • Changes in perception (such as hallucinations)
  • Irrational behavior that seems out of character (aggression and paranoia)

After undergoing an ecstatic high, coming down from this can end up quite unpleasant. Symptoms that could last a few days after taking the drug include the following.

  • Aching muscles
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep problems and fatigue
  • Anxiety, agitation, depression

Symptoms of Ecstasy Overdose in Both Sexes

If you took ecstasy in excessively large amounts or with stronger doses, you can end up with bad reactions or outright overdose. The symptoms of ecstasy overdose include the following.

  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Muscle twitching or cramps
  • Seizures (fits) and vomiting
  • A sharp rise in body temperature and blood pressure

Ecstasy Could Contribute to Death in Both Sexes

Ecstasy use can lead to serious harm or death, which includes the following causes.

  • Stroke
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Kidney failure
  • Overheating (hyperthermia) and dehydration
  • Dilutional hyponatremia (when you “drown” your brain by drinking too much water to counteract ecstasy-induced dehydration)

How Ecstasy Works in Both Sexes

When humans end up under threat or stressed, their central nervous system prepares them for physical action in order to react in response to the stimuli. This is the flight-or-fight response—a primal response that helped humanity survive as a species.

This could include the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Key functions such as blood pressure and heart rate might also increase in order to redirect the blood flow away from your gut and right into your muscles.

Because ecstasy acts as a nervous system stimulant, it works by encouraging your brain to start this response, thus making you feel excited and refreshed by the burst of sudden energy. We daresay it makes you feel… “ecstatic”.

It also distorts your reality by influencing how you perceive sound and sight. This on top of how it makes you feel feelings of love and peace.

The elevation of brain chemicals invoked by ecstasy consumption (such as serotonin and dopamine) increases causes such sensations to happen.

Treatment for Ecstasy Abuse in Both Sexes

Treatment options for ecstasy abuse and potential dependence in places like Miracles Asia include the following.

  • Peer support
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Medical detoxification
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Hospital care for complications and
  • 12-step program like in Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous

Peer support or talking to someone who has been in the same situation is particularly helpful.

Ecstasy and the Law

The U.S. government classifies ecstasy as an illegal drug like methamphetamines and cocaine. You will be subject to penalties under state and federal law in case you were to do the following with the MDMA substance.

  • Keep ecstasy in your possession or use it.
  • Drive a vehicle under the influence of MDMA.
  • Supply or sell it to others (it also includes drink spiking or other actions that don’t involve their consent to taking it).

Consult a healthcare professional for more information and referrals. Contact drug and alcohol addiction services in your area or abroad via rehab tourism as well.

Call Emergency Services in Case of Ecstasy Overdose

In emergency situations, call for help to anyone nearby and/or call an emergency number. Time is of the essence in such circumstances.

If you believe a friend of yours or you yourself are undergoing an overdose or severe reaction to ecstasy, dial 911 or have someone call 911 for you to get an ambulance immediately.

Stay with the overdosing person until the ambulance gets there. Tell the emergency crew in the ambulance as much as you can about what happened, which drugs were taken, how they were taken, and what other medical conditions the person has.

A quick response can be the difference between life and death. Don’t delay because it might be a false alarm or you’ll get in trouble for using ecstasy yourself. Ambulance officers aren’t obliged to call the police with them.

The Verdict

The effects of ecstasy on men root more on the greater increase in blood pressure when compared to women. Women, on the other hand, gain stronger effects when they take the drug, particularly when it comes to perceptual changes and psychoactive effects.

The dosage of MDMA directly affected the intensity of these particular perceptual and psychoactive effects. Across the board though, both genders experienced euphoria, increased energy, serotonin release, heightened senses, and empathy for others.

Go to Miracles Asia Rehab Right NOW

Get an affordable rehab solution that works for local and overseas patients. Becoming addicted to ecstasy can lead to irreversible damage to your body and mind. Therefore, you should act fast and avail of the services of Miracles Asia today.

It’s the only Thai rehab center in Phuket that offers rather than pledges a 98 percent completion rate for its rehab on top of Dual Diagnosis, detoxification, Group Therapy, Individualized Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in one roof!

Get this service today to help treat your ecstasy blues and traverse the path towards sobriety.