Image for article titled A Young Man Became Allergic to Orgasms—but There's a Happy Ending

The story of a man who developed an allergy-like reaction to his orgasms was described in a recent case study. He wasn't able to pursue sexual and romantic relationships because of the strange and rare condition. Thankfully, the doctors were able to treat his problem with an over-the-counter drug.

There is a condition called POIS. People who suffer from ejaculation experience symptoms similar to hayfever or a flu, such as fatigue, itchy eyes, and even memory issues. The symptoms appear after every orgasm, usually within seconds but sometimes up to hours later, and can last up to seven days.

POIS is a rare illness that can affect a person's sexual function. The number of people in the US who have it is estimated by the National Institute of Health. There are less than 60 reported cases of POIS in the medical literature according to the authors of this latest case study.

The report describes a man who began to experience symptoms when he was 18. He would often break out into a hive after orgasms due to his flu-like illness. He had seen several medical providers, including an otolaryngologist, but nothing seemed to help. He had been abstaining from sex and romantic relationships for a long time.

There isn't much known about why POIS happens. It is thought to be a type ofhypersensitivity reaction to something in a person's ejaculate. Most people with POIS have used their semen to test for the allergy. The immune response may be triggered by sperm cells since they contain only half of the genetic material found in most other cells. It has been suggested that the true culprit is usually some other ingredient in semen.

After recovering from a case of acute epididymitis, the man had his first episode. Epididymitis can be caused by infections in the urinary tract. The doctors theorize that the infections may have caused his immune system to become sensitized to his semen.

There isn't an official treatment for POIS, but the doctors decided to test out an antihistamine to see if it could help. They switched to an over-the-counter version of fexofenadine after their initial treatment didn't work. They told the man to increase his orgasms. The man was able to resume sexual activity after taking the fexofenadine.

The doctors think that the other antihistamine may have failed to help because it only lasts for a few hours, while fexofenadine is long- lasting and non-sedative. The doctors recommend that more research be done to confirm that this drug can be a reliable option for people with POIS, even though it is safe, cheap, and easy to take.

Their experience shows that a simple medication can be used to treat a complex disease.