Many of us are (unfortunately) aware of post-ejaculation guilt, but there is a small percentage of the population that experiences real physical illness after orgasm. These people suffer from “Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS).” If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry, you’re not alone. POIS is a very rare disorder among men (and possibly women) that causes flu-like and allergic symptoms following ejaculation.
POIS manifests as a constellation of flulike and allergic symptoms, including fatigue, weakness of musculature, feverishness or perspiration, mood disturbances and irritability, memory and concentration problems, incoherent speech, nose congestion or watery nose, or itchy eyes. Different men experience a somewhat different combination, intensity, and duration of symptoms, but whatever their manifestation is, it remains relatively consistent for each individual. The symptoms begin seconds, minutes, or hours after ejaculation (whether after partnered sex, masturbation, or spontaneously during sleep), and disappear on their own after 3 to 7 days.
In some cases, POIS started early on during puberty, whereas in others it only appeared later in life. Because the disorder is so rare, there is very little scientific research that has been done on it, and we are still unsure of the causes of it.
As you can imagine, POIS causes severe distress and inconvenience for the men affected by it, leading many of them to limit how often they have sex or to avoid sex altogether (despite having desire for it), or having to plan their ejaculations so that their aftermath doesn’t interfere with work or studying. Unsurprisingly, this strains men’s relationships with existing romantic partners, and hinders their future relationship prospects.
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