Men who feel sick immediately after sex may have a rare allergy to their own semen. The mysterious disorder, known as post orgasmic illness syndrome or POIS, causes flu-like symptoms including fever, runny nose, stinging eyes and sudden intense fatigue after an orgasm.
“Some of the symptoms may be very confusing to the clinician, especially during flu season as well as during allergy season,” Dr. Cliff Bassett, medical director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York, told AOL Health. “It’s a difficult diagnosis because many of the symptoms are similar to those of allergy, flu and colds.”
Led by Marcel Waldinger, a professor of sexual psychopharmacology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, the scientists conducted two separate experiments on the illness — which was first reported on in medical journals in 2002. Their subjects were all men who’d been diagnosed with POIS.
Bassett said that though POIS is rare, it does plague some men, so it’s important to have preliminary research like the Dutch study for guidance.
“This study allows clinicians to take care of men and be aware of the syndrome,” he told AOL Health. “The key is, if it’s post-sexual intercourse and there are immediate symptoms, then clinicians need to be aware of this possibility.”