Disease at a Glance

Summary
Postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is a rare condition in which a person develops flu-like and allergy symptoms after orgasm, whether with a partner, through masturbation, or spontaneously during sleep. POIS typically is reported in males (after ejaculation), but females have rarely been reported to have symptoms of POIS. Symptoms may develop within seconds, minutes, or hours after orgasm, and usually last for 2 to 7 days before going away on their own. Possible symptoms vary from person to person, but more common symptoms include fatigue, weakness, headache, fever, mood changes, memory or concentration problems, stuffy nose, sore throat, and itching eyes. The underlying cause of POIS is not known. Some scientists believe that in men, it is an autoimmune or allergic disorder that causes an inflammatory reaction to a substance in a man's own semen. Others have proposed POIS may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. POIS can cause severe distress in people with the condition and their partners. Some people with POIS abstain from sexual activity or find that they need to schedule sex for a time when they can cope with the symptoms.
Estimated Number of People with this Disease
In the U.S. there may be between

1 to 300

What Information Does GARD Have For This Disease?

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently GARD is able to provide the following information for this disease:

*Data may be currently unavailable to GARD at this time.
Categories
When do symptoms of this disease begin?
The most common ages for symptoms of a disease to begin is called age of onset. Age of onset can vary for different diseases and may be used by a doctor to determine the diagnosis. For some diseases, symptoms may begin in a single age range or several age ranges. For other diseases, symptoms may begin any time during a person's life.
Prenatal
Before Birth
Newborn
Birth-4 weeks
Infant
1-23 months
Child
2-11 years
Adolescent Selected
12-18 years
Adult Selected
19-65 years
Older Adult
65+ years
The common ages for symptoms to begin in this disease are shown above by the colored icon(s).

Symptoms

These symptoms may be different from person to person. Some people may have more symptoms than others and symptoms can range from mild to severe. This list does not include every symptom.
This disease might cause these symptoms:
Nervous System

17 Symptoms

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List View
Tile View
List View

Nervous System

The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Common symptoms of problems in the nervous system include trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. Problems with memory, senses, or mood may also occur. Nervous system diseases are usually diagnosed and treated by neurologists.

Causes

This section is currently in development. 

Next Steps

Talking with the Medical Team

Good communication between the patient, family, and medical team can lead to an accurate diagnosis. In addition, health care decisions can be made together which improves the patient’s well-being and quality of life.

Describing Symptoms

Describe details about the symptoms. Because there may be many different causes for a single symptom, it is best not to make a conclusion about the diagnosis. The detailed descriptions help the medical provider determine the correct diagnosis.

To help describe a symptom:

  • Use a smartphone or a notebook to record each symptom before the appointment
  • Describe each symptom by answering the following questions:
    • When did the symptom start?
    • How often does it happen?
    • Does anything make it better or worse?
  • Tell the medical team whether any symptoms affect daily activities

Preparing for the First Visit

Working with a medical team to find a diagnosis can be a long process that will require more than one appointment. Make better health decisions by being prepared for the first visit with each member of the medical team.

    Make informed decisions about health care: 
    • Prepare a list of questions and concerns before the appointment
    • List the most important questions first, not all questions may be answered in the first visit
    • Ask questions about symptoms, possible diagnoses, tests, and treatment options
    For future appointments:
    • Discuss what was not addressed at the last visit
    • Discuss changes in the quality of life for the patient, family, and caregivers
    • Discuss health goals and other issues in the patient’s and family’s life that may affect the health care decisions
    Take notes during the appointments to help remember what was discussed.

    Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2021