Sexually Transmitted Food Poisoning Exists, and it Involves Seafood

A potent toxin lurking in fish could be to blame for an unfortunate interruption of your sex life.

Photo: NPR

Photo: NPR

If eating fish has left you with stomach pains and diarrhea, don’t have sex. The bathroom is where you belong. According to NPR, having sex while experiencing symptoms of food poisoning from fish could leave your woman or man with terrible pains and burning in the pelvis, and, well, no sex for you for a while.

We don’t know why anyone would want to have sex while experiencing stomach pains and diarrhea, but it seemed like a good idea 25 years ago, when two guys went out for a seafood dinner while tearing it up in the Bahamas. Shortly after their meal, they started experiencing symptoms of food poisoning, symptoms that they passed on to their wives through sexual intercourse. According to an entry in Clinical Toxicology, the men had ingested a toxin called ciguatera, which was passed on to their wives through their sperm.

If you think that living in a non-tropical region will save you from this extremely potent toxin, you’re wrong. Fish is imported to the U.S. that comes from all corners of the globe, and the rising temperatures of the ocean could make the poison even more common. For this reason, the toxin has appeared outside its endemic tropical regions—in Vermont, North Carolina, and New York.

The symptoms of ciguatera have stunned doctors and patients alike. The toxin pokes little holes into your nerves, reversing the way you experience temperature and making you feel as if your teeth are falling out. If the fish came from the Pacific or Indian Oceans, there’s a high chance that you will experience hallucinations, says Melissa Friedman, a neuropsychologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. The worst of all symptoms? Painful sex. And there is no cure for the poisoning.

[via NPR]

 

 

 

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