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Side effects of an orgasm

Written by Sylvester Ikhisemojie
~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, June 10, 2018.

Dr Sylvester Ikhisemojie
In several essays in the past, both on this page and by other writers, the unique nature of sexual release has been studied greatly and explained more. The conclusion has been that sex, particularly when it is satisfactory, is said to do many positive things in the body. Importantly, it is said to be responsible for a sensation of love, of satisfaction and release. Some people are able to sleep better while others are known to feel good both within and without. They seem oblivious to certain physical challenges, namely pain and headache, and therefore maintain a certain spring in their step. However, every coin has two sides just like every story; sometimes, there are even more than two sides. What this means here is that there are certain experiences during and after sex that are very different from any of the facts mentioned above and they are not only surprising but are noteworthy.

Some of these changes in the body are now classified as side effects. Some people especially women; say they experience some intense reactions after having an orgasm. These side effects are described as hallucinations in which many of the women captured in relevant data describe a flying experience which they found quite unnerving. Some others describe a sensation of hurtling through space or of passing through walls into endless corridors resembling underground tunnels. In other situations, some women have described a sensation of experiencing intense headache and even dizziness following an orgasm. Turkey is one country in which some of these responses in women have been most widely studied. Sensationally, men also have described headache and dizziness as two of the most unpleasant side effects they suffer from after an orgasm.

Another side effect first described nearly a century ago, in 1928, is known as orgasmolepsy. It is described in a situation in which there is a sudden loss of muscle power, causing such profound weakness that sleep ensues. This is also found in association with certain sleep disorders like narcolepsy, an uncontrollable desire to fall asleep. The symptoms last for about 30 seconds or less during which there is a complete loss of muscle control following an orgasm. It is a state resembling anaesthesia and the persons are completely helpless in that position.

Crying is another unusual side effect of having an orgasm. It is a constellation of effects after sex in which the persons involved could cry or become tearful, sad or display signs of anxiety. The persons may also become agitated and desperate and some researchers have said that the reality of physical separation so soon after a lot of intimacy may be the trigger because the female partner becomes suddenly lonely. In one study, one in three female university students has reported experiencing some of the above features. These feelings can happen as long as one entire hour after having sex and it often occurs even in stable relationships. It is an alarming experience to see a partner who bursts into tears after intercourse and it is initially difficult to relate it to a side effect as such. This is because there is another group of women who might burst into tears as a result of rape or because they immediately get to regret their sexual experience right after the act. In the former group, an orgasm cannot be possible. In the latter group, while an orgasm might have resulted, the crying results from a feeling of guilt. These are different from a spontaneous cry occurring as a result of the fear of separation after an orgasm has been experienced.

Another bizarre side effect of an orgasm is pain. Some women have pain taken away when they reach an orgasm because of the release of natural pain relievers known as endorphins. In this situation, however, that position is reversed and even women who do not normally experience pain during sex now do so as a part of an orgasm. Men with certain types of prostate disease are also known to experience such pains. Such pain is unpleasant and can sometimes take away something from the overall pleasure of the exercise.

There is a particular type of sickness which is associated with orgasm in men. This is also a constellation of symptoms that make men ill or feel ill after having an orgasm. The range of sensations includes fatigue which may be quite severe, an intense sensation of warmth and a feeling even of a flu-like state. The latter feature is usually temporary. It passes away with time. In the same way, some people have been known to develop intense sneezing after they have had an orgasm. This is something which has been told in local tales for more than a century but there is one dramatic case described in detail within the last 50 years in which a man who had experienced an orgasm began to sneeze uncontrollably and later was documented also to have a runny nose that lasted for a decade. What one has often seen in our environment is stuffy nose developing after an orgasm. Such stuffiness often lasts something between a few minutes and two or three days.

Headache, as mentioned above, is a particularly troublesome side effect of having an orgasm. It may last from a few minutes after the experience to some three hours. It can be controlled with any of the common medications used in treating migraine. The headache is usually on both sides of the temple and is described as particularly intense. It is brought about by similar excitements and is mostly noted for its explosive nature. Some of these effects are potentiated in the present age with the widespread use of aphrodisiacs including by those who truly need them and those who do not. Features like headache, nasal stuffiness, palpitation and intense sweating have all been described with their use but these generally would occur even in the absence of an orgasm. As a result, it is fairly easy to determine which factors are caused by medications and which are brought about by the orgasmic experience.

Ask the doctor

Dear doctor, please I have a problem of masturbation and I need to stop it. What can I do to stop it? 

You did not tell us anything about yourself in terms of age, sex and so on. However, to stop masturbating has to be your deliberate decision to put a stop to the practice. It is the same as a cigarette smoker who desires to stop smoking or an alcoholic who wants to kick his habit. So it is something you too can stop on your own.

Dear doctor, what is the name of this sickness? There is a moment that keeps coming to my mind but afterwards, I won't be able to explain it and sometimes, I just go blank like I don't know what I am doing at that moment. For example, as I was going to buy a soft drink for my friend, the moment started coming to my mind as I got there. Up till now I cannot remember what I did or said when I got there. There have been many other experiences like that and I forget things easily too. My father told me I used to forget myself when I was very young. I have seen a doctor and he has prescribed some drugs that I am using but the medicine is affecting me. I feel like they put something heavy inside my head and I am very weak. The smell of the medicine makes me vomit and the one affecting me this way is tegretol (carbamazepine). I am a 23-year- old female. 

The scenario you have described, the sensation of an impending moment is perhaps what is often described as an aura. When you add the forgetfulness which occurs afterwards, soon afterwards, a situation called amnesia; it is probable that you are suffering from a form of epilepsy. In that case, you do have some kind of warning that you are going to have an attack and you ought then to just sit down quietly somewhere until the feeling passes. More importantly, you must see a psychiatrist, the expert in treating problems like yours and I am certain they can find an alternative to the carbamazepine you are presently using.

Dear doctor, can you tell me the designated hospital for the treatment of Hepatitis B? 

There is no designated hospital for that purpose. However, depending on where you live, any of the federal medical centres, the teaching hospitals and the really big general hospitals can treat you if they conclude that you need such treatment. If you are financially able, some private hospitals can also provide such treatment for you.

Dear doctor, I am over 30 years of age and my penis size is as small as that of a 14-year-old boy. What treatment can you get for me? 

First, you need to disabuse your mind of the fact there is a standard penis size for a 14-year-old. Some have theirs looking as small as you can imagine and there are the others whose dimensions would leave some married men in the dust. So which one does your own resemble? When that question has been answered, we will be clear whether you need to have treatment at all and for what reason. What I would suggest you do is to see a urologist for examination and the relevant advice.

Dear doctor, I read your article in SUNDAY PUNCH. I am positive to hepatitis B virus and scared of dying young. I need your professional advice sir. Thank you very much. 

Hepatitis means the inflammation of the cells of the liver. It may be a short lasting event with a speedy resolution or ending in death. It may also be a persistent infection lasting many years with progressive liver damage. Finally, being positive to the hepatitis B virus means only that you have been exposed to it. It does not suggest that you have hepatitis. However, in order to be in a position where you are better informed and therefore able to take informed decisions, you need to visit any of the federal medical centres, the teaching hospitals and the big general hospitals where your tests can be repeated, confirmed and the viral load measured. Based on the outcome of all this, a decision can be reached about your need for treatment.

Dear doctor, thank you for the fulfillment on your article on Hepatitis. May God crown your efforts and reward you in your philanthropic act. The baby boy was born towards the end of April and the injection taken for N70, 000. Are there any health implications on the child and people living with them? Thank you. 

The baby is safe because the mother has had an immunisation to prevent transmission of the virus to him. The father is probably safe if he has not been infected up till now but should explore the option of having the hepatitis B vaccine if he is still negative. Other people around them have nothing to fear.

Dear doctor, I am an ardent reader of your column in SUNDAY PUNCH. In the edition of May 20, you stated that appendicitis has certain risks associated with its operation. I was operated recently. Can I know the risks? Thank you. 

If you have had that operation and are able to send me this question, the complications are perhaps of no importance to you at this point. However, for the information of everyone else reading this page, you need to know that there are some complications attributable to the anaesthesia; some others due to the operation itself and yet others due to whether it is a straight-forward appendicitis or it is complicated even before surgery is performed. Some of these complications are bleeding; infection of the wound; injury to other structures nearby such as the intestines causing a fistula or damage to the fallopian tube. The wound can get infected thereby requiring further treatment. The wound can also bleed abnormally and the anaesthesia used can cause heart problems, a stroke or even death. If it is regional anaesthesia, paralysis can result. These are some of the few complications that can result from conducting the operation. They do not commonly occur and sometimes, they are very severe when they occur.

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