Mystery illness is striking men after sex and no-one can work out why
A mysterious syndrome has been discovered, in which men suffer symptoms after orgasm. The illness, which is called post-orgasm illness syndrome (POIS) is extremely rare, and was first documented in 2002, when it was described as a kind of 'semen allergy'.
An article in the journal Sex Medicine Reviews has reported that there have been only 50 cases of the condition, which are split up into two types: primary and secondary. Primary is when someone experiences it from their first orgasm, while those who have secondary POIS develop it later in life.
There are some that believe this is a condition that affects women too, but there have only been verified cases with men. Some scientists believe there is some kind of link between those with POIS and these who have issues with premature ejaculation, but this is unconfirmed.
Marcel Waldinger, a professor of sexual psychopharmacology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, published two studies in the Journal of Sexual Medicine about this topic. He suggests that those with POIS have an allergy to their own semen, and that a treatment known as hyposensitization therapy can help reduce the impact of the illness.
Some of the symptoms, which are unrelated to the genitals and reproductive system, are similar to an allergic reaction. On top of this, there have been effects such as confusion, inability to speak, read or write, fatigue, itchy eyes, a fever, muscle pain, and influenza symptoms for up to a week.
“These results are a very important breakthrough in the research of this syndrome,” Waldinger said to Reuters. He said the findings contradict the idea that these symptoms have a psychological basis and show that an auto-allergic reaction to semen is the most likely cause.
For these studies, Waldinger and colleagues analyzed 45 Dutch men who were diagnosed with the illness. 33 of them underwent a skin-prick allergy test using a diluted form of their own semen. 88 per cent of this group had a positive skin reaction, that indicates an auto-immune response or allergic reaction. Waldinger continued:
“They didn’t feel ill when they masturbated without ejaculating, but as soon as the semen came from the testes...after that they became ill, sometimes within just a few minutes”
"It’s a very slow process. It is used for all sorts of allergies and can sometimes take up to 5 years"
There is another theory that suggests that chemicals released during orgasm may be responsible, if they are being released in unusually high volumes. Endorphins, which are in the hormone group of opioids, inhibit pain and produce feelings of euphoria.
When these are released during orgasm in POIS sufferers, it may be that they flood the system, leaving them with opioid withdrawal, like coming down from a drug high.
While there aren't a huge amount of cases of POIS, let's hope they find the cause and treat it as soon as possible, as this would be hell to go through for any man.