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Are you allergic to your own man-goo?

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The symptoms

POIS was formally documented in the medical literature for the first time in 2002. It comes with both mental and physical symptoms which typically appear within half an hour of having an orgasm and may take several days to disappear.

Common psychological symptoms include:

anxiety and irritability;

depressed mood;

cognitive dysfunction resulting in difficulty reading, concentrating, communicating, remembering words, retaining information and socialising;

intense discomfort and a craving for relief; and

frightening dreams.

Common physical symptoms include:

flu-like symptoms such as feverishness and a runny nose;

mild to severe headaches;


back-ache and muscle pain; and

allergy-like symptoms such as itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, swollen lips and throat, rashes and hives.


Many men who suffer from POIS avoid sex and orgasms, including masturbation, altogether. Alternatively they schedule them for times when they have several days to recover from any debilitating effects.

Doctors have had some success in treating the condition by administering drugs, including antidepressants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, just before and just after an orgasm.

The Dutch researchers who belief that POIS is caused by an allergy to one’s own semen have had positive results with a treatment method called hyposensitisation which is used to treat other allergies. Over an extended period of time lasting for as long as several years, the patient is inoculated with small, diluted amounts of his own semen. Progressively less diluted injections are administered, reportedly resulting in a gradual improvement of the symptoms.

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