Irish man injects himself with his own semen to ‘treat’ back pain

In a new case study, Irish doctors report the baffling case of a 33-year-old man who injected his own semen intravenously for a year and a half, a self-developed ‘cure’ intended to treat his chronic back pain. It does not appear to have worked

Irish man injects himself with his own semen to ‘treat’ back pain

The man required medical treatment at a Dublin hospital after repeatedly injecting himself with his own semen in an unusual attempt to treat his longstanding lower-back pain.

Physicians came across this unusual case when its subject admitted himself into a Dublin hospital following several days of lower back pain brought on by lifting a heavy object.

Following an examination, medical staff discovered his lower right arm was red and slightly swollen, with signs of a fairly serious subcutaneous infection. An X-ray revealed signs of an abscess deep under the skin.

The case was revealed in a report published by the Irish Medical Journal titled ‘Semenly’ Harmless Back Pain: An Unusual Presentation of a Subcutaneous Abscess.

Its authors dug into the literature, both clinical and alternative – for some kind of explanation, but came up empty handed.

Irish man injects himself with his own semen to ‘treat’ back pain
Image courtesy: Irish Medical Journal, Dunne L. et al., 2019

The author of the case report, Dr Lisa Dunne of Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght, decided to conduct a review of sources of information regarding the use of semen for the treatment of back pain or other conditions.

For the previous year and a half he’d been giving himself a monthly shot of his own self-made tonic. In the wake of his most recent bout of back pain, he had even upped his dose to several injections.

“A comprehensive review of EMBASE, PubMed, Google scholar and the wider internet was conducted with an emphasis on intravenous semen injection for the treatment of back pain as well as for other medical and non-medical uses,” the authors write.

“Although there is a report of the effects of subcutaneous semen injection into rats and rabbits (in 1945), there were no cases of intravenous semen injection into humans found across the literature.”

Alleged health benefits of semen have been debated in the literature. It’s occasionally injected just under the skin in minuscule amounts to test for allergic reactions, and has been contested as a way to treat semen-sensitivities.

But when it comes to reducing pain, let alone specifically treating back injuries, this is pretty much unheard of.

No doubt there’s more to this man’s story. Not that we’ll get to the bottom of it any time soon, and possibly doctors won’t, either.

The patient was diagnosed with cellulitis – a bacterial infection of the skin – and the doctors gave him intravenous antimicrobial drugs; but before they could administer further treatment, he discharged himself.

“This patient’s back pain improved over the course of his inpatient stay and he opted to discharge himself without availing of an incision and drainage of the local collection,” the authors noted.

The Dublin-based authors say the case is “the first ever described case of intravascular semen injection and associated abscess in the medical literature” and warn the case “demonstrates the risks involved with medical experimentation prior to extensive clinical research.”

This research was published in the Irish Medical Journal.

Source: Science Alert

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