01/17/2011 01:54 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Semen Allergy Blamed For Post-Orgasm Sickness

There's a mysterious phenomenon in which some men, immediately after having an orgasm, come down with a flu-like illness. Now Dutch scientists are saying these men may be allergic to their own semen.

The condition is known as post-orgasmic illness sydrome, or POIS. Though it's been on scientists' radars for nearly 10 years, it's not commonly known by patients or doctors. Many men who experience the post-ejaculate sickness don't come forward and tell their doctor about it out of embarassment, experts suspect.

Marcel Waldinger, a professor of sexual psychopharmacology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and his team analyzed 45 Dutch men who had been diagnosed with POIS. From Reuters:

Thirty-three of them agreed to undergo a standard skin-prick allergy test using a diluted form of their own semen. Of those, 29, or 88 percent, had a positive skin reaction indicating an auto-immune response, or allergic reaction.

Waldinger also identified a treatment for POIS, known as hyposensitisation, which essentially desensitizes the recipient of the treatment. The men were given skin injections of their own semen -- first highly diluted and eventually increased -- and after one to three years symptoms were greatly reduced.

Symptoms of POIS include fever, runny nose, extreme fatigue and burning eyes. They come on straight after climax and can last up to a week, reported The Sun.