Post orgasmic illness syndrome: What do we know till now?

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Background: Peri orgasmic dysfunctions are very rare and little information exists on their diagnosis and treatment. One of these conditions is post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS), manifesting by a debilitating cluster of symptoms affecting men within seconds, minutes, or hours after ejaculation. The aim of this article is to do a thorough literature review about POIS, in order to elucidate the pathophysiology, the diagnosis and the management of this rare disease. Results: Updated literature review on Pubmed was done, using the following terms: "orgasm illness", "post-orgasmic" and "postorgasmic illness syndrome". The references of the 17 identified publications were also reviewed for additional 8 relevant articles that were all included in the results. POIS has 5 preliminary diagnostic criteria and criterion 1 has 7 described clusters. Pathophysiological hypotheses include: immunological phenomenon (most relevant), opioid-like withdrawal, neuroendocrine response, transient deregulation of the autonomic nervous system, hypersensitivity and disordered cytokines. Differential diagnoses include: chronic prostatitis, orgasmolepsy, benign orgasmic cephalgia, sneezing and rhinorrhea, postcoital dysphoria, post-coital asthma and rhinitis. Patients have been symptomatically treated with antihistamines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and benzodiazepines. A trial of hyposensitization therapy with autologous semen was successful. Conclusion: POIS is a rare condition that is underdiagnosed, most probably because of its unclear pathophysiology leading to a lack of treatment options. Further studies are warranted to investigate the prevalence, pathophysiology, and management of this debilitating condition.




Abdessater, M., Elias, S., Mikhael, E., Alhammadi, A., & Beley, S. (2019, September 3). Post orgasmic illness syndrome: What do we know till now? Basic and Clinical Andrology. BioMed Central Ltd.

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