It might sound absurd enough to be a joke, but some men really are allergic to their own loads. “The medical terms is known as postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS),” says Bayo Tojuola, a board-certified urologist in Houston. “It usually involves flu-like symptoms shortly after each ejaculation. For people who have POIS, symptoms usually begin about an hour after ejaculating and they get worse in the days to come before they begin to subside.” According to Tojuola, the most common symptoms involve fatigue, feeling feverish and being quickly irritated. “Some people also complain of having trouble concentrating,” says Tojuola.
“We’re not sure how prevalent POIS is among men, but based on my understanding, it’s rare,” Tojuola continues.
Furthermore, according to Tojuola, scientists have confirmed that this isn’t an allergy to sex or to a partner’s body fluids. “It is indeed an allergy to one’s own semen,” he explains. “When men with POIS masturbate or have sex without ejaculating, they don’t experience any of the symptoms.”
Scientists aren’t sure, however, what causes this. “We only know that something in their semen is triggering their immune system to respond in a way that causes them a great deal of discomfort,” explains Tojuola.
Fortunately, medical treatment is possible.
In fact, according to Tojuola, a recent study found that immunotherapy is highly effective and can reduce POIS symptom complaints by 60 to 90 percent. “The treatment involves injecting small doses of a man’s own semen under his skin so that his body becomes less sensitive to it,” Tojuola says.
Of course, there has to be a “happy ending.”