Sex has long been considered a taboo or political subject. However, we often talk about sex without really talking about it. It is often linked with other topics such as politics or religion. Aside from the Sex Ed course in high school, we as a society don’t talk about sex, especially some of its adverse side effects.
Sexual health is part of our general well-being, so why don’t we think about sex from that perspective. Sex has a lot of health benefits, but it can have detrimental side effects for some.
Below are just a few rare sexual disorders.
- Hypoactive sexual desire
The prefix hyper means to go beyond or exceed. In the case of HSDD or hypoactive sexual desire, the opposite is the case. Hypoactive sexual desire indicates low interest in sex.
Many believe that low sexual drive is correlates with age. However, in most, that is not the case. HSDD can affect anyone regardless of their age.
There is no need to stigmatize those with HSDD because many will experience a loss of interest in sex at some point in their lives. However, HSDD is a bit different.
HSDD is a prolonged lack of desire that can become distressing and even disruptive. Many factors can cause HSDD, for example, hormonal imbalances, stress, chronic conditions, low self-esteem, or problems in the relationship. Many of these factors are either situational or acquired.
According to researchers, this condition affects 32% of women and 15% of men, and unfortunately, some doctors do not recognize its importance.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options for HSDD. Estrogen or progesterone therapy, talk therapy, and marital counseling are great options.
- Postorgasmic illness syndrome
Postorgasmic illness syndrome or POIS is a rare condition that affects males where a person develops flu-like symptoms after experiencing an orgasm.
There are two categories when it comes to POIS primary and secondary. These categories refer to when POIS manifested–whether it began in adolescence or later in life. Individuals who experience POIS during adolescence fall into the primary category.
The flu-like symptoms that affect males are fever, fogginess, extreme fatigue, sore or achy muscles, or burning eyes. These symptoms can appear a few minutes to hours after ejaculation and last five to seven days.
Evidence suggests that POIS is an auto-immune response triggered by a specific cytokine reacting to seminal fluid.
Dr. Macel Waldinger outlined the five criteria for POIS, which are:
- One or more flu-like symptoms are present (extreme fatigue or exhaustion, weakness of musculature, experiences of feverishness or perspiration, mood disturbances and or irritability, memory difficulties, concentration problems, incoherent speech, congestion of nose or watery nose, itching eyes)
- Symptoms occurred immediately, soon, or hours after coitus.
- Symptoms are nearly always prevalent during each event, and symptoms last 2 to 7 days.
- Symptoms disappear simultaneously.
There is no known cure for POIS. But, since it is considered an auto-immune reaction to seminal fluid, the best and safest options would be to sterilize the area after ejaculation and take antihistamines. Of course, always consult with a doctor before consuming medications.
- Sexual Aversion Disorder
Sexual aversion disorder (SAD, for short) is an extreme version of HSDD. There are different subtypes of SAD, and they are:
For sexual aversion to be considered a disorder, it must cause psychological distress and interpersonal interference.
- Coital Cephalgia
Cephalgia, colloquially referred to as migraines, occurs because of stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, and even loud noises. But, there are such things as orgasm-induced migraines.
These are more common than most people think. Typically they affect men more than women and generally affect those who suffer from migraines.
The sudden pain is alarming and can lead you to worry, but it is treatable. Treatment may include taking the same medication one would take during a migraine.
- Retrograde ejaculation.
Retrograde ejaculation is another bizarre sexual disorder. It is colloquially known as a dry orgasm.
Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen pours back into the bladder instead of coming out. It is not particularly harmful unless you are trying to have children.
The cause of this disorder lies in your anatomy. The vas deferens is the tube where semen comes out– sperm goes up through the vas deferens and passes the prostrate where it is mixed with other liquids and comes out as semen. Before ejaculation, the muscle at the opening of the bladder tightens, thus preventing semen from entering.
Other factors that can cause retrograde ejaculation are surgery, nerve damage, or medication. Please consult your doctor if this is a concern for you.
Sex does not fit into a one-box category for most people. It is an intriguing and complex medical marvel. Aside from the physical intimacy, there is a chemical one happening as well.
Lallanilla, M. (2012, December 18). ‘sex headaches’ more common than previously believed. LiveScience. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.livescience.com/25629-coital-cephalgia-sexual-headache.html
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2022, January 11). Retrograde ejaculation. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/retrograde-ejaculation/symptoms-causes/syc-20354890
Montgomery K. A. (2008). Sexual desire disorders. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), 5(6), 50–55.
Nall, R. (2020, January 18). Hypoactive sexual desire disorder myths vs facts. Healthline. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/treating-hsdd/myths-and-facts#Myth:-HSDD-isnt-a-high-priority-for-treatment