Dutch researchers have concluded that some men may be allergic to their own semen resulting in flu-like and sometimes debilitating symptoms.
The scientists, led by Professor Marcel Waldinger, from Utrecht University in the Netherlands undertook two studies into the condition known as post-orgasmic illness syndrome (Pois).
The mysterious condition, which was first recognised in 2003, is characterised by debilitating symptoms following orgasm that last for a few hours to several days.
Symptoms can included depressed mood, severe fatigue, mild to severe headache, and flu-like and allergy-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy eyes, nasal irritation, and muscle pain.
Doctors had previously believed that the phenomenon, affecting around one percent of the male population, was psychological but Waldinger’s studies suggest that this may not be the case.
Thirty three men undertook standard allergen tests in which a samples of their own semen were used in a skin prick test. According to Waldinger, 29 of the 33 had a skin allergic reaction to the test.
Waldinger found that hyposensitisation therapy, in which the patient is repeatedly exposed to increasingly larger amount of the allergen, appeared to successfully reduce the symptoms of Pois.
The studies were published in the Journal of Sexual medicine.