Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome

Authored by: Marcel D. Waldinger

Handbook of Clinical Sexuality for Mental Health Professionals

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138860254
eBook ISBN: 9781315716596
Adobe ISBN: 9781317507468


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In 1998 a 43-year-old man visited my outpatient department with a remarkable story. He reported a list of complaints that occurred to him after an ejaculation. He had burning eyes and nasal drip and was exhausted soon after an ejaculation. Moreover, he felt feverish and was very irritable the next day. These symptoms of irritability, word-finding difficulties, and inability to do his job remained for about 4 days, then disappeared (1). After he finished his story, he stated “and now you are probably telling me that I am crazy.” “Why do you think that?” I replied. “Because all doctors that I have seen so far told me that this is either stress or that I had a psychiatric disorder.” I told him, “You are not crazy at all, and I do not believe that your complaints are related to stress. The only thing that I can tell you is that I have never heard of these complaints, and that I have no idea of what might be the cause. I do not remember reading about this in the medical literature. However, as soon as I know more about it, I will contact you.” I then scrutinized the literature but failed to find any article that shed light on his complaints. Two years later, another man told me the same story of becoming ill soon after ejaculation. After I had seen the second patient, I phoned the first one to tell him that he was not alone. He was relieved, and I was convinced that I had found something peculiar.

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