- Publish Date
- Thursday, 1 June 2017, 2:55PM
For most of us, an orgasm is a blissful release of pleasure.
But for some, the big O can bring on some rather unexpected side effects - including hallucinations, crying, sneezing and even an orgasm in your foot.
These, and other bizarre symptoms, have actually been reported in scientific literature in what experts call "peri-orgasmic phenomena".
Typical effects of an orgasm are whole-body and pelvic sensations, as well as flushing, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and heavy breathing, according to a new report in Sexual Medicine Reviews.
Psychological responses can also include feelings of love, happiness, and relaxation.
The report authors concluded: "The human sexual response is complex and diverse.
"We aim to draw attention to these varied phenomena and to provide some guidance for the clinician encountering a patient who reports unusual symptoms with orgasm."
We take a look at eight of the strangest symptoms that can be triggered by climaxing.
Becoming tearful or feeling sad, depressed, anxious or agitated after sex are symptoms of a condition called postcoital dysphoria (PCD) or "post sex blues".
According to the review, this is quite common, and often occurs within a stable relationship.
PCD at some point in their life was reported by a whopping 46 per cent of 230 Australian female university students surveyed.
Another study found a higher correlation of PCD among identical and non-identical twins, suggested the condition may be hereditary.
Some women have reported their lover has literally taken them to another world.
Of nearly 50 females who reported experiencing "expanded sexual response," 76 per cent to 100 per cent said they felt a sensation of flying, according to a 2011 study from Turkey.
Up to 75 per cent claimed they had a feeling of leaving their bodies and up to 24 per cent noted a sense of entering a cartoon world.
Almost a quarter of respondents reported after climaxing experiencing the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that a current experience has already been experienced in the past, known as déjà vu.
Reports linking sneezing and orgasms date back to the 1900s - in fact, one case from 1972 describes a 59-year-old man who developed severe sneezing and a runny nose after orgasm, which continued for 10 years.
Experts believe that activating one part of the parasympathetic nervous system during orgasm may trigger a different branch of it, too, which causes sneezing.
Labelled "post-orgasm illness syndrome", this is a side-effect that can affect men after ejaculation.
The researchers describe men reporting severe fatigue, overheating, and a temporary flu-like state after sex. "Onset of these symptoms is rapid and can last up to four to seven days" said the report.
The scientists explain that the body can misidentify proteins in your own semen as foreign invaders, which ramps up the immune system response and makes you feel ill.
One of the more distressing side-effects of post-orgasm phenomenon is what's technically known as orgasmolepsy - a form of reflex epilepsy after orgasm.
It was first recorded in 1960, when a pregnant 23-year-old woman developed partial seizures in the second trimester of her second pregnancy. After the birth, these seizures recurred, frequently immediately after orgasm.
Another 20-year-old patient had epileptic attacks triggered by masturbation or fantasies.
Scientists do not fully understand what causes it, but they think firing of the amygdala response - coupled with hypocretin deficiency, which occurs with narcolepsy - may be to blame.
Females can experience pain with orgasm even if she doesn't feel pain with intercourse, according to the review.
A 2009 study reported three cases of women who experienced this, without any physical causes of pain.
Men are not immune, either - patients with chronic prostate disease have also been known to experience pain with orgasm, too.
An orgasm in the foot
According to a 2013 case report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a 55-year-old woman said that when she experienced a vaginal or clitoral orgasm while having sex with her husband, she felt the same sensation in her left foot afterwards.
The researchers believe it may be due to partial regeneration of damaged nerve fibres in her foot.
There are more than 60 published articles in the literature on the topic of orgasm-associated headache. These are 'type 2' headaches, described as bilateral, explosive, and triggered by some kind of excitement.
Their duration can range from several minutes to three hours, and may be alleviated with antimigraine medication, says the review.
This article was first published on Daily Mail and is republished here with permission.