Post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is a rare, but debilitating cluster of symptoms, occurring after ejaculation with unknown mechanism and uncertain treatment. To the best of our knowledge, this study, which is thought to be the first in the literature, is aimed to investigate the practice patterns of sexual medicine experts towards POIS. Worldwide sexual medicine experts were invited to participate anonymously in an online, open survey using SurveyMonkey between November 14, 2022, and January 15, 2023. In total 211 sexual medicine experts filled the survey. The majority of the participants were urologists (83.9%). Most participants stated that the available information about POIS was inadequate for both patients and physicians. 47.9% of the participants stated psychological disorder, 46.4% stated bio-psycho-social reasons for the responsibility for the pathophysiology of POIS. 56.4% of the participants stated that they would refer the patient for psychotherapy/sexual therapy to a sexologist, 41.7% would prefer antihistamine drugs to manage symptoms. Only 18% of participants reported symptom improvement in more than 30% of the patients. This survey study among sexual medicine experts from different parts of the world has developed representative estimates of knowledge, attitudes and practice patterns regarding POIS worldwide.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 8 print issues and online access
$259.00 per year
only $32.38 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
Waldinger MD, Schweitzer DH. Postorgasmic illness syndrome: two cases. J Sex Marital Ther. 2002;28:251–5.
Waldinger MD, Meinardi MM, Zwinderman AH, Schweitzer DH. Postorgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS) in 45 Dutch caucasian males: clinical characteristics and evidence for an immunogenic pathogenesis (Part 1). J Sex Med. 2011;8:1164–70.
Abdessater M, Elias S, Mikhael E, Alhammadi A, Beley S. Post orgasmic illness syndrome: what do we know till now? Basic Clin Androl. 2019;29:13.
Ashby J, Goldmeier D. Postorgasm illness syndrome-a spectrum of illnesses. J Sex Med. 2010;7:1976–81.
Jiang N, Xi G, Li H, Yin J. Postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) in a Chinese man: no proof for IgE-mediated allergy to semen. J Sex Med. 2015;12:840–5.
Eysenbach G. Improving the quality of Web surveys: the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES). J Med Internet Res. 2004;6:e34.
Nguyen HMT, Bala A, Gabrielson AT, Hellstrom WJG. Post-orgasmic illness syndrome: a review. Sex Med Rev. 2018;6:11–5.
Waldinger MD. Post orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS). Transl Androl Urol. 2016;5:602–6.
Reisman Y. Clinical experience with post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) patients-characteristics and possible treatment modality. Int J Impot Res. 2021;33:556–62.
Strashny A. First assessment of the validity of the only diagnostic criteria for postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS). Int J Impot Res. 2019;31:369–73.
Natale C, Gabrielson A, Tue Nguyen HM, Dick B, Hellstrom WJG. Analysis of the symptomatology, disease course, and treatment of postorgasmic illness syndrome in a large sample. J Sex Med. 2020;17:2229–35.
Rosetti L, Kanani A, Witherspoon L, Flannigan R, Elliott S. Case series: expanding diagnostic markers in postorgasmic illness syndrome. Sex Med. 2023;11:qfac021.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Genetic and rare diseases information center, 2020. Postorgasmic illness syndrome. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/10809/postorgasmic-illness-syndrome.
Le TV, Nguyen HMT, Hellstrom WJG. Postorgasmic Illness Syndrome: What do we know so far? J Rare Dis Res Treat. 2018;3:29–33.
Waldinger MD, Meinardi MM, Schweitzer DH. Hyposensitization therapy with autologous semen in two Dutch caucasian males: beneficial effects in Postorgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS; Part 2). J Sex Med. 2011;8:1171–6.
Kim TB, Shim YS, Lee SM, Son ES, Shim JW, Lee SP. Intralymphatic Immunotherapy With Autologous Semen in a Korean Man With Post-Orgasmic Illness Syndrome. Sex Med. 2018;6:174–9.
Bignami B, Honore T, Turmel N, Haddad R, Weglinski L, Le Breton F, et al. [Post-orgasmic illness syndrome]. Prog Urol. 2017;27:446–8.
Nguyen T, Dimov V, Bewtra A. Seminal fluid hypersensitivity in a man with postorgasmic illness syndrome (Pois). Ann Allerg Asthma Immunol. 2011;107:A48.
Sonkodi B, Kopa Z, Nyirády P. Post Orgasmic Illness Syndrome (POIS) and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): Do They Have Anything in Common? Cells. 2021;10:1867.
The authors would like to thank the Global Andrology Forum (GAF), European Society for Sexual Medicine (ESSM), Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA), Society of Urological Surgery in Turkey (SUS) and International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) for their valuable contribution to the distribution of the survey.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Duran, M.B., Rubin, R.S., Reisman, Y. et al. Recognition and practice patterns of sexual medicine experts towards postorgasmic illness syndrome. Int J Impot Res (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41443-023-00753-x