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Feeling Horny When You're Sick? It's Your Body Fighting Back

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Feeling Horny When You're Sick? It's Your Body Fighting Back

Have you ever been struck down with the flu, tonsillitis, a fever or any other type of mild illness and, at the same time, had a sexual urge that's almost as high as your temperature?

Rest assured, you're not a weirdo. A quick glance through online forums suggests plenty of people get horny when they're sick.

It's not really the best combination to be chomping at the bit for sexual pleasure while at the same time plagued with a headache and snotty nose but sufferers can't help it.

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One bloke on Reddit described it like this: "I have these moments where, for a brief time, the fog of illness lifts and in its place is a sex samurai on a quadruple dose of Viagra with the stamina of a war elephant and the bed strength of the drunken one-night stand baby of Genghis Khan and Khal Drogo." Wow.

People on the internet call it the 'Fever Dicks' or the 'Sickly Hornies' and there are a few theories about what could cause it.

One person reckons the urge comes from being bored from spending all that time in bed or in the home, while another suggests it's a result of our ancient ancestors and the horniness was a way of keeping your partner by your side when you got sick.

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Unfortunately, there's not a hell of a lot of medical research into this specific topic but psychologist Dr Shawn Smith did some digging and he found an interesting research paper from 1995.

When you get sick, your immune system kicks in and sends a bunch of stuff to the area to get you back up and running.

One of those things includes macrophages, which is a type of white blood cell, which 'engulfs and digests cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, cancer cells, and anything else that does not have the type of proteins specific to healthy body cells on its surface'.

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Credit: Obli/Creative Commons
Credit: Obli/Creative Commons

As the macrophages kick in, they release cytokines, which are small proteins that help cells communicate with each other. Still with me?

One of those cytokines is called interleukin-1, which has been shown to decrease sexual appetite for female rats. On the flip side, that specific protein had no effect when injected into male rats. But when higher doses of interleukin-1 were applied, the male rat's horniness went through the roof.

So, your desire to get down and dirty while you're sick could be a result of your immune system releasing a bunch of those proteins because it's trying extra hard to fix you. Sch-wing

Featured Image Credit: The Simpsons/Fox

Topics: Interesting, Weird, Flu, illness

Stewart Perrie

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