Tuesday 23 July 2019

Man needed hospital treatment after injecting himself with semen in bid to cure back pain

Warning over medical experimentation

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Darragh McDonagh

Doctors have warned about medical experimentation after a man was hospitalised who admitted repeatedly injecting himself with his own semen in an attempt to treat back pain.

The 33-year-old patient developed a subcutaneous abscess on his right arm, where he had been injecting himself with semen on a monthly basis for a year and a half.

A radiograph at the  Dublin hospital also revealed emphysema and oedema – excess watery fluid – under the skin.

An intravenous antimicrobial drip to treat the man’s unusual condition was started immediately, but he opted to discharge himself without allowing doctors to make an incision to drain the “local collection”.

He had devised the treatment independent of any medical advice, and revealed that he injected one monthly “dose” of semen for 18 consecutive months using a hypodermic needle that he bought on the internet.

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

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

She concluded that there were no other reported cases of intravenous semen injection to be found anywhere in medical literature, and a broader search of the internet found no source that recommended this as a cure.

“This is the first reported case of semen injection for use as a medical treatment,” she concluded.

The patient had presented in hospital complaining of sudden and severe lower-back pain. He reported having lifted a heavy steep object three days before, after which his symptoms had worsened.

However, a thorough physical examination of his upper and lower limbs identified a small, red papule on his right arm. He disclosed at this stage that he had been injecting his own semen as an “innovative” method of treating back pain.

The red area spread down his arm and hardened around the entry wound over the course of the next 24 hours, according to the case report.

Dr Dunne described the case as “unique” and said it demonstrated the risks of innovative treatments that are relied upon prior to clinical research in the form of phased trials.

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