This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
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. There is no standard treatment for POIS, but some men have been treated with SSRIs, antihistamines, and/or benzodiazepines. 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.
For more information, visit GARD.