advertisement
18 January 2011

Allergy to semen after orgasm a rare illness

A mysterious syndrome in which men come down with a flu-like illness after an orgasm may be caused by an allergy to semen, scientists have said.

0

A mysterious syndrome in which men come down with a flu-like illness after an orgasm may be caused by an allergy to semen, Dutch scientists said .

Men with the condition, known as post orgasmic illness syndrome or POIS and documented in medical journals since 2002, get flu-like symptoms within seconds, minutes, or hours after masturbation, coitus, or spontaneous ejaculation. Symptoms can last for up to week.

Dr Marcel Waldinger, a professor of sexual psychopharmacology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, published two studies in the Journal of Sexual Medicine which suggest that men with POIS have an allergy to their own semen, and that a treatment known as hypo sensitisation therapy can help reduce its impact.

The findings

"These results are a very important breakthrough in the research of this syndrome," Dr Waldinger said. He said the findings "contradict the idea that the complaints have a psychological cause" and show that an auto-allergic reaction to semen is the most likely cause.

Although it has been documented in scientific papers since 2002, post orgasmic illness syndrome is largely unknown among family doctors and experts say many men who suffer the condition feel ashamed about it and confused about what is wrong.

Dr Waldinger said while the syndrome is probably rare, it is likely that many men who suffer with it do not know it is a recognised condition and so do not come forward to doctors.

Study done on POIS

For these studies, Dr Waldinger and colleagues analysed 45 Dutch men who were diagnosed with the illness.

"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," Dr Waldinger said.

Thirty-three of them agreed to undergo a standard skin-prick allergy test using a diluted form of their own semen. Of those, 29, or 88%, had a positive skin.

Allergen immunotherapy

In a second study in the same journal, Dr Waldinger's team decided to try treating two of the volunteers with hyposensitisation therapy, also called allergen immunotherapy, which repeatedly exposes the body to small but gradually increasing amounts of the allergen over several years.

The men were given skin injections containing their own semen, at first in an extremely dilute form, and then in gradually less diluted forms. The study's results showed that after one and three years respectively, the men showed a significantly reduction in their POIS symptoms.

"It's a very slow process. It is used for all sorts of allergies and can sometimes take up to five years," Dr Waldinger said. In the light of the first results, his team has now started several more POIS patients on hyposensitisation therapy. . (Reuters Health/ January 2011)

Read more:
When romance and allergies don't mix
Some women allergic to semen
So what's in semen?

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

Help, my STI is incurable!

2016-09-30 14:41

More:

SexNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

The debate continues »

Working out in the concrete jungle 7 top butt exercises for guys 10 things pole dancing can do for you

The running vs. walking debate

There are many different theories when it comes to the running vs. walking for health and weight loss.

Veganism a crime? »

Running the Comrades Marathon on a vegan diet Are vegans unnatural beasts? Can a vegan be really healthy?

Should it be a crime to raise a baby on vegan food?

After a number of cases of malnourishment in Italy, it may become a crime to feed children under 16 a vegan diet.