Post-orgasmic illness syndrome: history and current perspectives

Post-orgasmic illness syndrome is a rare and debilitating condition causing somatic and psychological symptoms leading to severe distress in affected men and their partners

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Volume 113, Issue 1, Pages 13–15


Mark R. Paulos, M.D., Gabriella J. Avelliino, M.D.


Post-orgasmic illness syndrome is a rare disorder causing a debilitating cluster of flu-like and allergic type symptoms that occur within seconds, minutes or hours after ejaculation. Symptoms occur after intercourse, masturbation or spontaneous ejaculation and last from 2 to 7 days. The condition is chronic and follows a primary pattern occurring in adolescence and a secondary acquired pattern with onset later in life. The true incidence is unknown as the condition is likely under-reported and under-diagnosed. The pattern of symptoms suggests an allergic or auto-immune etiology; however, the exact pathophysiology is unknown and there is no effective treatment. Men suffering from post-orgasmic illness syndrome describe emotional trauma and significant impairment of their quality of life.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.