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A 27-year-old man who got flu-like symptoms after ejaculating avoided sex and dating. His symptoms included: coughing, a runny nose, and a rash on his forearms. Doctors treated him with an allergy tablet, which meant he could have sex again. Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app. A man who got flu-like symptoms after ejaculating found the symptoms so distressing that he avoided having sex, according to a medical case study. Writing in the medical journal Urology Case Reports, doctors and medical students in Michigan said that they believe the unnamed 27-year-old had post orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS). The rare condition causes flu-like and allergy symptoms after a person orgasms either after sexual activity, masturbation, or spontaneously during sleep. Symptoms can last for up to a week, according to the National Institutes for Health. The condition is "increasingly being recognized as a debilitating cause of sexual dysfunction in males," the medical professionals wrote in the report published in August. It's less common in females, according to the NIH. The condition is rare, affecting fewer than 1,000 people in the US, the NIH states. According to the report, literature suggests 60 people have been diagnosed with the condition in the last 20 years. There are no proven treatments for POIS, and we don't know what causes it. POIS can cause flu-like symptoms including a stuffy nose. In this case, the man experienced flu-like symptoms including: coughing, a runny nose, sneezing, and a hive-like rash. He also experienced swollen lymph nodes in his neck and face, which got worse the more he ejaculated. The symptoms started when he was around 18 years old, after a suspected infection of the tube at the back of his testicles, called epididymitis. "Because of the distressing nature of his symptoms, he actively avoided any sexual activity or romantic relationships," the medical professionals wrote. They didn't state how long he stopped having sex or dating but said he caught chlamydia — a sexually-transmitted infection — two years before he sought help.
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At first, doctors diagnosed the man with hayfever, and recommended an over-the-counter allergy tablet. He was advised to gradually increase how often he ejaculated at the same time. The tablet didn't help, so they prescribed a longer-acting antihistamine, called fexofenadine. One theory is that people with POIS are allergic to a component of their own semen, though the man hasn't had the test to confirm this. According to the report, the patient said that fexofenadine decreased his symptoms by 90%, including the rash and his lymph node swelling, allowing him to have sex again. The medical professionals cautioned that fexofenadine needs to be studied more for POIS to know its benefits for other people with the condition. But, they wrote: "Our experience demonstrates the feasibility of treating a complex disease with a simple medication and hopefully will be replicated in future patients."