A man who is allergic to his own semen is plagued by flu-like symptoms every time he has sex.

The case of the unnamed man, 27, is documented in a study published by the journal Urology Case Reports, which found he isn't the only person suffering from "post-orgasmic illness syndrome".

He told the study that he's been suffering from the condition for the last 10 years and has often avoided sexual relationships as a result.

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"Post orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is increasingly being recognized as a debilitating cause of sexual dysfunction in males," wrote the paper's authors.

"It is often misdiagnosed due to its unfamiliarity to providers, resulting in numerous potentially unnecessary tests and treatments."

According to the authors, the "best-accepted theory" explaining how the affliction comes about is that those suffering from it are allergic to their own semen.

They write: "This theory is supported by both the clinical manifestations of POIS as well as the fact that 88% of men suspected to have POIS had positive skin-prick tests to diluted, autologous semen."

There have been fewer than 60 cases of POIS ever recorded and medical practitioners have only been aware of its existence for around 20 years.

According to the paper, symptoms begin immediately after ejaculation and can last for up to a week.

They include extreme fatigue or exhaustion, muscle weakness, fever and sweating, irritability, memory difficulties, concentration problems, blocked nose and itching eyes.

The patient in the study experienced coughing, runny nose, sneezing and a hive-like rash on his forearms after orgasm, and the symptoms did not differ whether he climaxed via sex or masturbation.

Luckily, his condition proved treatable. He reported a 90% decrease in his symptoms after scientists prescribed him a daily 180 mg dose of fexofenadine – an antihistamine.

He has now been able to experience a normal sex life.

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However, given the extreme rarity of the condition, the paper said there is no known single most effective therapy for POIS.

Different studies have attempted using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), benzodiazepines, and immunotherapy.

"Many health providers do not know about it, let alone the public," said Andrew Shanholtzer, a medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and co-author of the paper.

"It is more than likely that it is underdiagnosed, with many sufferers out there."

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