Man with allergy

Men allergic to own sperm get after-sex flu

Imagine if every time you had an orgasm it made you ill for a week. That’s just what happens to men with ‘post orgasmic illness syndrome’, or POIS, say Dutch scientists – they’re allergic to their own semen.

When men with POIS have an orgasm they start feeling dreadful, with a fever, headache, runny nose and burning eyes.

Up to now people thought it must be all in the mind. And many sufferers don’t go to the doctor about it, because they’re too embarrassed and confused about what’s happening.


Professor Marcel Waldinger, a sexual medicine expert at Utrecht University, first wrote about the after-sex flu back in 2002. Since then his team has studied a group of 45 Dutch sufferers to work out what was causing the problem. They discovered it was down to sperm allergy.

What’s more, the Utrecht scientists found a way to treat it – by injecting the men with a little of their own semen. They gradually increased the dose until the men became less sensitive to it. The snag is that this way of treating an allergy can take years to work.

*To protect the identity, names have been changed and the person/s in the picture is/are models.

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