Semen Allergy May Cause Sickness from Sex

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A semen allergy may be making some men sick from sex. While the headline may draw smirks, it is true.

Previously thought to be a psychological illness, men who experience post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) present with flu-like symptoms after ejaculation. Now, researchers are confirming that POIS is the result of a semen allergy.

POIS has been documented in medical journals since 2002. Up until now there has been no definitive research to explain the symptoms that these men experience after ejaculation. The small handful of case studies on POIS identified the cause as either psychological or due to hormone imbalances. Men with POIS experience flu or allergy-like symptoms within seconds or hours after ejaculation. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, fatigue, burning eyes, sneezing, muscle pain, confusion and headache. In some cases these symptoms may last up to a week.

Researchers at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands studied 45 Dutch men who experience POIS.
They discovered that these men did not present symptoms after sexual stimulation without ejaculation. The symptoms only occurred when ejaculation was present. Of the 45 men, 33 of them agreed to undergo skin-prick testing using a diluted form of their own semen. Of these men 88% tested positive for a semen allergy.

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In a follow up study published in the same journal, researcher Dr. Marcel Waldinger and his team treated two of the patients with hyposentization therapy. This type of therapy, also known as allergen immunotherapy, is a standard form of treatment for allergies. Both patients were given small skin injections of their own diluted semen. Over the course of several years, the skin injection was given with stronger semen concentrations, allowing for the patents to slowly build tolerance.

The results of this study showed that both men significantly reduced their symptoms over the course of 3 and 5 years. Dr. Waldinger therefore concluded that this type of treatment could potentially cure POIS. Several more patients have been started on the same hyposentization protocol.

Other possible temporary treatments for the symptoms of POIS could include medications which treat allergies or autoimmune disorders.

POIS is believed to be a rare syndrome, affecting less than 1% of the population. Some believe that these numbers may be higher due to embarrassment preventing many men from reporting these symptoms to their heath care providers. Perhaps more awareness of POIS and the ability to successfully treat this semen allergy will encourage more men to come forward and to seek help from their doctors.

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