Man ends up with skin infection after injecting himself with semen to cure back pain

A man injected himself with semen for 18 months, believing that it would relieve his back pain.
A man injected himself with semen for 18 months, believing that it would relieve his back pain.

The Irish Medical Journal recently published a case study of a 33-year-old man who injected himself with his own semen once a month to treat back pain.

According to the doctors who reported the case, the man had been complaining about a severe, sudden onset of backache after lifting a heavy steel object. The man, who had been suffering from regular bouts of backache throughout is life, decided to take matters into his own hands, purchased a hypodermic needle online and started injecting himself with his own semen.

Redness and rapid swelling

The case study reveals that the man “devised this cure without any independent medical advice”. He had been injecting himself with an undisclosed dose of semen once a month, for at least 18 months.

It wasn’t until he visited the doctor after his backache didn’t subside (of course, the injections didn’t do much) when they noticed redness and rapid swelling on his forearm, the area where he injected himself. It seems that the semen had started pooling and clotting under the skin, creating a bacterial infection of the skin called cellulitis.

Over the next 24 hours, the swelling and redness progressed over his entire forearm. The man was hospitalised and received a course of intravenous antibiotics to treat the cellulitis.

No other case studies

After further investigating the case studies and other reports on this story, the exact rationale behind this bizarre DIY-treatment couldn’t be determined.

According to IMJ authors, to date there have been no other case studies in medical literature of semen being injected intravenously.

Although there is a report of the effects of semen injection into rats and rabbits, there were no cases of intravenous semen injections into humans found across the literature, authors reported.

Methods of suicide through the injection of substances such as mercury and gasoline are well reported throughout medical history, but attempting to use semen to cure back pain is a first.

Dangers of injecting yourself 

This case study was published with one mission in mind – to be educational and warn others against trying similar methods at home.

Any injections should be administered by a trained professional as using the wrong type of needle can harm the veins and skin tissue and cause bruising and scars. Injecting foreign matter into the skin poses its own set of risks, as we saw from the case study.

You also run the very small risk of creating an air embolism (an empty pocket of air) in the vein that causes blood vessels to be blocked, and that can ultimately cause a serious medical emergency and even death (this is really the worst-case scenario, as a small amount of air will not have this effect).

As for self-treatment of medical conditions, it is always wise to consult a medical professional before attempting a home remedy. 

Image credit: iStock

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