|Memory 118 Guide •|
Reproduction and Seasons
An Al-Leyan will reach maturity at around 22 to 23 years old - though some may not experience their first season until later in life due to an Al-Leyan's long lifespan. When they are most fertile, an Al-Leyan emits pheromones specifically attuned to their potential mates (only those of Al-Leyan physiology, thus only affecting those of their race) and undergo what is called a season (their mating drive) around every four to five years - a period of time that last anywhere from four to eight days. These pheromones are stronger than those of the average humanoid species (with the noted exception of Vulcans) and are at their most powerful when an Al-Leyan is in season due to the increased need for a mate during this time. Though some have assumed it's similarity to the Vulcan pon-farr, mating itself is not as intense.
Individuals may come into season and have extra or early seasons if another Al-Leyan currently in season shows significant interest in mating with the individual. Unlike Vulcans, there is no bonding to a single person for life - an Al-Leyan is typically free to have different mates whenever their season occurs. As an individual matures, the value of companionship may influence a potential long-term relationship.
Signs and symptoms of an Al-Leyans undergoing their season include irritability, mood swings, inability to concentrate, headaches, fatigue, and fever, among others, that could vary by individual. The ultimate result if the Al-Leyan in season doesn’t mate is death - which is where the Vulcan comparison is primarily drawn from.
Medications are available to delay the result of an unresolved season until an Al-Leyan can find a suitable mate, but these medications are harmful to the body and should not be taken for an extended period.  The maximum time period for use of these medications can vary based on the individual's physiology and definitive ranges are currently under investigation by doctors and scientists. Some studies show that toxic buildup may occur more slowly in full-blooded Al-Leyans than in hybrids whose non-Al-Leyan physiology is unaccustomed to the affects of hormonal buildup and thus, these individuals can tolerate it for a longer time before it begins to affect the body's functioning. One such medication is a modified leuprolide injection, which targets Al-Leyan hormones specifically. This injection slows the toxic buildup of hormones but does not stop the process nor does it remove the toxin.
Once an Al-Leyans season has ended, they no longer need to rely on their mate, and can choose to part ways or continue a relationship.
Psychology around seasons
Al-Leyans do not typically pursue romantic relationships outside of one's season, as they are naturally drawn to other individuals during this period unless they have developed particularly close relationships with individuals. They are free to have one or several mates in a single season.
Symptom severity can vary by individual and the case studies available provide limited information. Of the handful of hybrids known, only a few have survived their seasons. It is unknown how these hybrids have managed to survive. However, a Starfleet Medical Journal article discusses a serum that shows promise in allowing these hybrids to mate with other non-Al-Leyans and reducing the number of hybrid deaths resulting from unresolved seasons.