At 27, this man is forced to flee sexual relations. The reason ? He is allergic to his own orgasm! A disease that has affected him since the age of 18. With each ejaculation, he develops flu-like symptoms: fever, cough, sneezing or muscle weakness. This condition, called post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS), can also affect his speech, concentration, and memory. According to the details of the Daily Mail, about 60 men are affected. A number which could however be higher due to the lack of data on the subject.
Uninformed about this syndrome, doctors often refer their patients to mental health professionals. For scientists, this urogenital disease is explained by an allergic or autoimmune reaction to one’s own sperm. Men who suffer from this rare disorder therefore avoid masturbating or having sex because their symptoms, sometimes including depressed mood, can last for up to a week. Fortunately, there are drug treatments such as benzodiazepines, antihistamines or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
A self-defending body
But what is the origin of this disease? According to the explanations of Andrew Shanholtzer, a medical student, this allergy would be the consequence of an infection or an injury to the testicles which would cause leakage of microscopic quantities of sperm into the bloodstream. The reaction would therefore be the body’s natural response, a sort of defense mechanism. As a rule, sperm is protected by a membrane. When this is damaged, the sperm are exposed to the immune system which fights back as the immune cells are trained to attack any foreign substance found.