An unidentified 25-year-old man has been left dreading making love as each time he ejaculates he experiences an allergic reaction.
He told doctors that each time he climaxed he would be left with flu-like symptoms, anxiety, brain fog, and fatigue.
This started when he was a teenager and it was so debilitating that he would avoid masturbation and tried not to ejaculate during sex.
The bizarre case was published in Urology Case Reports after the man contacted the medics from Men’s Health Boston in Massachusetts.
They found that his symptoms could either be immediate, or delayed by two or three days, and at times would last between one and two weeks.
Dr. Jose Bolanos, who treated the man, said: “Symptoms began at 16 years with sexual maturity and continued to the present time, regardless of whether ejaculation occurred via masturbation or intercourse with a female partner.”
“For these reasons, he avoided masturbation and also attempted to avoid ejaculation when engaging in sex with a partner.
“At the time of presentation he was single and orgasm frequency was once every two to three months.”
This condition was also affecting the young man with day to day life such as his work and studies.
The man had undertaken his own research as well as contacting several doctors, he changed his diet, added supplements and used allergy medication all which failed to help with the condition.
After extensive testing, he was finally diagnosed as post-orgasm illness syndrome (POIS).
The condition is believed to be caused by men having an allergy to their own semen.
Post Orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is a rare condition in which a person develops flu-like and allergy symptoms after orgasm, whether with a partner, through masturbation, or spontaneously during sleep.
In the main, it is only men that can have this condition but in some rare cases, a few females have reported similar symptoms.
They can vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include:
Memory or concentration problems
Some scientists believe that in men, it is an autoimmune or allergic disorder that causes an inflammatory reaction to a substance in a man’s own semen.
Others have proposed POIS may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
There is no standard treatment, but some men have been treated with hormone replacement therapy, antihistamines, and/or benzodiazepines.
POIS can cause severe distress in people with the condition and their partners.
Some people with POIS abstain from sexual activity or find that they need to schedule sex for a time when they can cope with the symptoms.
Dr. Bolanos described it as “a cluster of bothersome symptoms following ejaculation, which may include severe fatigue, nasal congestion, burning eyes, concentration difficulties, irritability, depressed mood, and a flu-like state.”
He added that the prevalence of the condition is unknown and difficult to determine because it’s likely that many people with it don’t seek medical attention while most doctors are unaware of the syndrome.
“Due to lack of awareness of POIS as a medical entity, and with its component symptoms of anxiety, distress, and depressed mood, men with POIS may be first referred to a mental health professional, who also may be unfamiliar with this condition,” Dr. Bolanos added.
Once diagnosed the man underwent a treatment of hormone replacement therapy human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which he injected three times a week.
HCG is the hormone produced during pregnancy, but when injected into men it can stimulate the testicles to produce more testosterone.
At his six-week follow-up, the man’s symptoms had been completely resolved.
“He ejaculated more frequently, and experienced no weakness, anxiety, brain fog, or malaise afterward,” the doctor said.
“He noted improved mood, overall energy, and libido.”
The patient told medics that it was the first time since he was 16 that he could experience orgasm without negative physical or emotional consequences afterward.