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Allergic to orgasm: can’t have sex

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Allergic to orgasm: can’t have sex

He can understandably be considered one of the most “unfortunate” men in the world. A 27-year-old boy, whose identity is strictly reserved, is forced to abstain from sex because he is allergic to his own orgasm. In practice, every time the young patient ejaculates, he exhibits flu-like symptoms and other more or less serious manifestations: fever, cough, rhinitis, muscle weakness, as well as problems with speech, concentration and memory; and then also swollen lymph nodes and rashes on the arms. These disorders can persist between two and seven days after ejaculation.

Diagnosis at 18

Doctors believe that the patient’s “distressing” disease, described in the journal Urology Case Reports, originated about 10 years earlier, when the young man was just 18 years of age. Since then he has always tried to avoid sexual intercourse until he even gave up on having a romantic relationship. At least until the doctors identified the disease, giving it a name: post orgasmic malaise syndrome.

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We do not know for sure the causes of this allergy. According to Andrew Shanholtzer of the William Beaumont School of Medicine of the University of Oakland (USA), one of the authors of the study, it is possible that the syndrome may arise as a result of an infection or injury to the testicles, trauma therefore that can lead to the leakage of quantities microscopic sperm in the bloodstream, to which the body responds. Normally, the sperm has a membrane that separates it from the rest of the organism but if this is damaged, the seminal fluid is no longer isolated and at that point an allergic reaction is triggered.

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The immune system attacks the sperm, like a virus

“The body’s immune cells are trained to attack any foreign substances they find,” Shanholtzer explains. “There are special cells called Sertoli cells that nourish and surround the sperm and keep it isolated from immune cells,” explains Shanholtzer. “When Sertoli cells are damaged – he adds – the sperm is exposed to the immune system for the first time and the immune system attacks it as if it were a foreign virus or bacterium.” This is the origin of the post orgasmic malaise syndrome, which is very difficult to diagnose.

The antihistamine reduces symptoms

It was no coincidence that the young patient had been visited by many doctors and specialists, such as urologists, otolaryngologists and even experts in infectious diseases. His testicles underwent imaging tests and doctors analyzed sperm and hormones. But every time everything was normal. He was also given antibiotics, to no avail. Then finally the diagnosis and, after several attempts, a therapy that seems to work well. The patient received several antihistamines until the discovery that a specific, long-acting one, called fexofenadine, led to a 90% reduction in his symptoms.

Very rare syndrome

The young patient was ultimately “lucky in misfortune”. Post orgasmic sickness syndrome, while very rare, affects tens, hundreds, or perhaps thousands of other men without them knowing. So far, scientists have discovered nearly 60 cases of men with the same pathology but, as so few people are aware of the disease, there may be many more people living with it. “Many healthcare professionals don’t know this, let alone the public,” Shanholtzer points out. “It’s more than likely it’s underdiagnosed and there are a lot of sick people out there,” she adds.

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The treatment is easy to access

The men who suffer from it can be subjected to “numerous tests and potentially unnecessary treatments”, points out the expert. But once the diagnosis is made, the researchers suggest an easy-to-access treatment. “Fexofenadine – say the researchers – is a relatively safe, inexpensive and well tolerated drug, but it requires further studies before its therapeutic benefits can be evaluated in this selected population. Our experience demonstrates the feasibility of treating a complex disease. with a simple drug and hopefully it will be replicated in future patients. “

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