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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Postorgasmic illness syndrome


Other Names for this Disease
  • POIS
  • Post orgasmic sick syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is a rare condition in which affected men develop a cluster of flu-like symptoms after ejaculation (when semen is released from the penis).[1][2][3] Specific symptoms can include extreme fatigue; weakness; feverishness or sweating; mood changes or irritability; memory or concentration problems; and/or a stuffy nose or itching eyes.[4] Symptoms may occur within seconds, minutes or a few hours after ejaculation. Most symptoms last for 2 to 7 days and go away on their own. The underlying cause of POIS is poorly understood. Some scientists believe it may be due to a semen allergy that causes an immediate hypersensitivity reaction. There is no standard treatment for POIS, but some men have been treated with SSRIs, antihistamines, and/or benzodiazepines.[4] Hyposensitization therapy (decreasing the immune response by exposure to semen) reportedly improved symptoms in 2 affected men.[2][3]
Last updated: 6/27/2016

References

  1. Farley SJ. Postorgasmic illness syndrome. Nat Rev Urol. March 2011; 8(3):121.
  2. Waldinger MD, Meinardi MM, Schweitzer DH. Hyposensitization therapy with autologous semen in two Dutch caucasian males: beneficial effects in Postorgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS; Part 2). J Sex Med. April 2011; 8(4):1174-1176.
  3. Jiang N, Xi G, Li H, Yin J.. Postorgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS) in a Chinese Man: No Proof for IgE-Mediated Allergy to Semen. J Sex Med. March 2015; 12(3):840-845.
  4. Althof SE, McMahon CG. Contemporary Management of Disorders of Male Orgasm and Ejaculation. Urology. July, 2016; 93:9-21.
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In Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Postorgasmic illness syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • POIS
  • Post orgasmic sick syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.