You’ve been told since middle school health class that wearing protection is essential. But what your teachers probably didn’t tell you is, even if you do use a condom, you could still be at risk for sneaky health issues. Read on to discover four ways that sex could make you sick. We guarantee you won’t find these in an eighth grade text book.
1. Sex headaches
If you’ve ever noticed your aching desire suddenly stunted by an aching head, you’re not alone. According to Everyday Health, a headache with sexual activity (HSA) is diagnosed as a headache that occurs before or during sex, at the time of orgasm, or just after sex. It could take the form of anything from a migraine to a pain in the occipital region (back of the head). According to the American Headache Society, one in 100 people suffer from headaches during or after sex, and more frequently with men than women. In rare cases, sex-related headaches could be signs of a more serious medical condition. So if these unwanted pains persist, consider seeing your doctor. But if you’re totally healthy and just need a quick fix to make sure you enjoy every minute of your time between the sheets, take Men’s Health’s advice and pop a Tylenol an hour beforehand.
2. Post-sex depression
Sex is the ultimate mood-elevator, right? Then why do you find yourself feeling bummed after a good night with your special someone? If this sounds sadly familiar, you could be suffering from post-coital tristesse (PCT), or feelings of melancholy after an orgasm. An article in Vice gives a brief history of research conducted on this condition. While scientists have been searching for the underlying cause since 150 AD, it remains unclear whether the post-sex-blues are caused by chemical or psychological reasons. Until more work is done to investigate the cause of this surprising ailment, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Instead of stressing, try to focus on finding something new you like to do in bed — it could be a great way to distract from any less-than-euphoric feelings in the aftermath.
3. Semen allergy
Believe it or not, it’s possible to be allergic to your own semen. If you’ve experienced a fever, runny nose, extreme fatigue, burning eyes, and/or upset stomach after an orgasm, it’s possible you have post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS). Dutch professor of sexual pharmacology at Utrecht University, Marcel Waldinger, published two studies where he explains that men with POIS actually have an allergy to their own semen. In other words, your body identifies the proteins in your semen as unwanted invaders, and your immune system goes haywire as a result. Some doctors believe the symptoms could also be caused by an irritation to the seminal fluid, rather than a full-blown allergy. While POIS is a pretty rare condition, if you’re concerned, talk to an allergist or immunologist. They’ll give you a test and hopefully shed some light on your suspicious semen.
We all strive for mind-blowing sex, but definitely not mind-erasing. In rare cases, sex can cause short-term amnesia. LiveScience reports some examples of this strange memory loss were documented in The Journal of Emergency Medicine. In these cases, patients experienced transient global amnesia, a rare condition in which memory quickly, yet temporarily, vanishes. While the condition is very rare, only affecting 3 to 5 patients a year, the causes are still very unclear. On the bright side, researchers are sure that this type of memory loss is not associated with a stroke or brain damage. So even if you suddenly don’t remember an amazing sex-sesh, don’t stress, your brain is still safe.