Wednesday, December 9, 2015

9 Sicknesses Triggered by Sex

Not in the mood tonight? You probably have a number of clever cop-outs up your sleeve — your “head is killing you,” you’ve been feeling a bit blue, or you’d just hate to spread your sore throat and sniffles to your hubby.
But can you imagine having to turn down your partner’s advances because having sex with him would actually make you sick — it would trigger a piercing headache, flu-like symptoms, or even amnesia? From post-coital depression to post-orgasmic illness syndrome, here’s a look at some common (and oftentimes strange!) sexual sicknesses.
2. Can Mind-Blowing Sex Actually Blow Your Mind?
Have you ever had sex that's so toe-curlingly fabulous, you can't think straight? For one woman in Washington, DC, a romp in the hay with her husband zapped her memory ... literally.
Her memories began to disappear about an hour after intercourse, and doctors diagnosed her with transient global amnesia — a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss that affects only three to five people out of 100,000 each year.
The incident was reported in the September 2011 issue of The Journal of Emergency Medicine, and doctors are still a little stumped. That's because MRI scans show that transient global amnesia isn't caused by damage to the brain — in fact, researchers aren't exactly sure what causes it. However, a recent study in the journal Stroke points to insufficiency of the valves in the jugular vein, which allows deoxygenated blood to flow into the brain, according to an MSNBC article.
Sex isn't the only trigger — transient global amnesia may be caused by strenuous physical activity, emotional distress, even taking a sudden dip into hot or cold water. Fortunately, people who experience this curious condition usually get their memory back, and it's unlikely to happen again.
3. When Sex Is a Headache
It may be your go-to excuse when you want to avoid a romp in the hay (“not tonight, dear — I’ve got a headache”) — but for some people, sex actually triggers head pain. According to the National Headache Foundation (NHF), 20 percent of women and 5 percent of guys experience “exertional headaches” (a type of headache caused by increased blood pressure in the brain that usually occurs during exercise) or “pre-orgasmic headaches” during sex.
What does a sex headache feel like? It usually starts as a dull pain in the head that can intensify as you build up to a climax, and it can last a few minutes up to half an hour. If you’re cursed with sex headaches, you may be able to beat them by popping a painkiller 30 minutes before you get intimate.
4. Got the Post-Sex Blues?
Feeling glum about a not-so-great sexual encounter is one thing — but according to a study published in the International Journal of Sexual Health, one-third of women say they feel depressed even after a perfectly pleasing lovemaking session. Researchers call it post-coital dysphoria, and it affects about 10 percent of women regularly.
Post-sex depression is marked by feelings of sadness, anxiety, regret, and irritability. Researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes it, but it could be caused by a hormonal shift after reaching orgasm. If you’re regularly sad in the sack, you might want to explore the reasons for your feelings with a therapist, says obstetrician/gynecologist Paula Bednarek, MD, MPH, director of the Ryan Family Planning Clinic in the Center for Women's Health at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. It could also be related to feeling unequal in your partnership or other relationship issues.
5. Allergic to Sex?
Can you be physically allergic to sex? Yes, if you’re among the one in every 40,000 women with a semen allergy. Although this sexual sensitivity is rare, Dr. Bednarek says that semen changes the pH balance in the vagina for some women, resulting in irritation, discharge, hives, and swelling.
Even stranger? If you have a strong allergy to a food (such as peanuts or shellfish) and your partner recently ate it, you could end up with some of the same allergic symptoms from his semen that you’d have if you ate the food yourself.
Your best bet for reducing the symptoms of semen allergy is to use a condom, says Bednarek.
6. When the 'Big O' Is a Big Ouch
Have you ever experienced flu-like symptoms, headache, runny nose, painful muscles or joints, fatigue, and problems concentrating right after having sex? You could have post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS), an unusual illness first identified in 2002 that tends to affect men within 30 minutes of ejaculating. Researchers and physicians still aren’t sure what causes this response, but early studies suggest that men may be experiencing a systemic allergic reaction to their own semen. If you think POIS could be putting a damper on your sex life, it’s time to talk to a urologist.
7. The Pain of a UTI
If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection, you know the symptoms well. There’s the pain when you urinate, the need to go often, and the maddening feeling that you can’t completely empty your bladder.
And some unfortunate females seem to be extra susceptible to getting UTIs, says Bednarek (women are 10 more likely than men to get the infection). One thing that increases their risk? Sexual activity — sex introduces bacteria into a woman's urinary tract. If you’re plagued with UTIs, try urinating right after sex — this can flush any unwanted bacteria out of your urethra.
8. The Itch You Can't Scratch in Public
Our bodies naturally contain a certain amount of yeast — but if those levels get out of control, you could end up with one big, itchy problem: A yeast infection. “Women's yeast infections may be triggered by a change in pH from semen or a new lubricant," Bednarek says. "Hormonal changes also can make women prone to yeast infections.”
A yeast infection isn’t an STD, but it is characterized by some of the same symptoms: Itch and irritation, painful sex, and a thick discharge. You can treat it with over-the-counter medications, but if that doesn’t work, check in with your doctor.
9. The Bane of Bacterial Vaginosis
Your vagina is chockfull of bacteria — some of it’s good bacteria (which helps control the bad kind), and some of it’s bad bacteria. But if the balance of good and bad bacteria gets upset, you could end up with a common vaginal infection known as bacterial vaginosis.
Bacterial vaginosis is usually marked by a “fishy” vaginal discharge. It’s not a sexually transmitted disease per se — but irritation caused by sex, extreme response to the pH changes caused by semen, and commonplace bacteria that enter the vagina after anal sex can all contribute to the infection. If you think you have bacterial vaginosis, pop in to see your ob-gyn, who may suggest a prescription medication.
10. When Sex Gets Germy
Should you still have sex when your honey has a cold? “If you’re close enough to have sex, you’re close enough to be coughed on,” says Bednarek. Sleep with your sneezing, coughing, ailing sweetheart, and you may notice your own set of symptoms (like cough, fever, runny nose, muscle aches, and sore throat) in about a week. Want to stay healthy? Take a rain check!

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