WHAT IS DHAT SYNDROME
The belief that loss of semen is harmful for health is part of folk lore in India. It is a kind of traditional cultural knowledge which goes back to hundreds of years. It is mentioned in mythological tales, in religious texts, in popular ayurvedic books. In such circumstances the guilt about loss of semen in young men is wide spread. Some young men develop another serious preoccupation. They complain of various physical and psychological symptoms and they are convinced that their symptoms are due to the passage of semen in the urine. Sometimes they have seen some whitish substance when the urine is collected or they have noticed some sticky whitish fluid at the beginning of end of passage of urine while straining at stools. Many others times, since they are feeling weak they assume or have been told by their friends that they must be passing semen in the urine to explain their weakness.
Their fears are amply confirmed by numerous advertisements about sexual disorders published in popular newspapers or magazines. The walls in any town or city in India are full of such advertisements by quacks who further enhance the sexual fears and guilt of young people and who offer “guaranteed” cure for all kinds of sexual weaknesses.
The passage of semen in urine in popular languages in most parts of India is called DHAT or DHATU ROG. In parts of north western India and Pakistan it is called JIRYAN. It is also known by many other local names in different States.
Those of us who have been trained in the field of modern scientific medicine (Allopathy) may it be doctors, nurses or health workers, find it very strange that something which is so common in our country, has no mention in the western text books of medicine or physiology. Since there is no such cultural belief in Europe about the harmful effect of loss of semen, there is no description of it in the medical books published in Europe or U.S.A., Average medical practitioner or health worker in India is often in a dilemma about how to handle a large number of such cases which visit health services all over the country for such problems and which are not even described in the medical books.