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Semen Allergies are Real

Understanding Postorgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS)

It's not uncommon to joke about falling asleep after sex, but what if it feels like a hangover? Postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is a rare condition that causes flu-like symptoms after ejaculation. It's like an allergic reaction to semen, affecting fewer than 1,000 men in the U.S. The exact cause is unknown, but it's often referred to as an "atypical allergic reaction."

Human Seminal Plasma Hypersensitivity: A Related Condition

Human seminal plasma (HSP) hypersensitivity is a rare allergy in women, affecting up to 40,000 in the U.S. Unlike POIS, which only affects men, this allergy can cause localized and systemic reactions. Both conditions involve an allergic response to semen, but POIS is an allergic reaction to one's own semen.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Semen Allergies

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to semen may include skin irritation or more systemic reactions like nausea or vomiting. With POIS, symptoms often develop within 30 minutes of ejaculation and can include fever, fatigue, body aches, eye discomfort, cognitive difficulties, and mood disturbances.

Treatment Options for Semen Allergies

Treating POIS can be challenging due to the unknown cause. Potential treatments include hyposensitization, antihistamines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), benzodiazepines, and regular ejaculation. These treatments aim to dampen the immune response or build tolerance to the allergen.

Semen Allergies and Fertility: What You Need to Know

POIS does not cause infertility, but the discomfort and illness associated with ejaculation can lead to a decrease in sexual activity, indirectly affecting fertility. Options like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are available but costly and not always successful.

Conclusion: Addressing Postorgasmic Illness Syndrome

Postorgasmic illness syndrome is a rare but real impediment to your sex life. If you suspect you have it, consult a healthcare provider. Understanding and addressing this condition can lead to a healthier and more satisfying sexual experience.

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