Man Allergic to His Own Orgasm Actively Avoids Sleeping With Girlfriend

A 27-year-old man dubbed the “unluckiest man alive” suffers from a rare disease that causes him to experience flu-like symptoms whenever he orgasms.

The unnamed man’s case was recently reported in the medical journal Urology Case Reports by a team of doctors who successfully managed to treat the condition with antihistamine. Scientists described the man’s rare illness as an allergic, or autoimmune, response to his own sperm, which caused flu-like symptoms like fever, a cough, sneezing, muscle weakness, as well as concentration, memory, and even speech issues. Because of these debilitating symptoms associated with his own orgasm, the man had actively been avoiding sleeping with his girlfriend for a long time.

As bizarre as the case described above may sound, it is certainly not unique. Scientists have so far uncovered almost 60 cases of people affected by this rare and serious condition known as Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS). In fact, it is increasingly being recognized as a debilitating cause of sexual dysfunction in males, but because it’s so rare and unusual, it is often misdiagnosed.

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“Many health providers do not know about it, let alone the public,” said Dr. Andrew Shanholtzer, from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, co-author of the case report. “It is more than likely that it is underdiagnosed, with many sufferers out there.”

Mr. Shanholtzer explains that while the exact cause of POIS is unknown, it is believed to start after an infection or injury to the testicles leads to microscopic amounts of sperm leaking into the bloodstream, which triggers an immune response.

“There are special cells called Sertoli cells that nurture and surround sperm and keep it isolated from immune cells,” the researcher explains. “When the Sertoli cells are damaged the sperm is exposed to the immune system for the first time and the immune system attacks the sperm like it is a virus or foreign bacterium.”

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In the case of the 27-year-old man, the authors of the report wrote that his symptoms started at around age 18. Over the following nine years, he completely gave up on romance after developing coughing, a runny nose and sneezing, as well as hives on his arms whenever he orgasmed.

The unnamed man, referred to only as Mr. A, had seen a number of doctors, from urologists to infectious disease experts, but no one could explain what was happening to him. He was prescribed antibiotics, but they didn’t improve his condition at all.

Luckily, after diagnosing the man’s Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome, Dr. Shanholtzer and his colleague were able to treat him with several antihistamines, one of which (fexofenadine) caused his symptoms to subside by about 90 percent. So there is hope yet for the world’s unluckiest man and the few others who share his plight.