Sperm allergy, sometimes called semen allergy or seminal plasma hypersensitivity, is a rare allergic reaction to proteins found in a man’s semen. It mostly affects women. Allergy to a certain enzyme, protein or chemical means the person’s immune system overreacts each time it encounters that protein or chemical.
Some common symptoms of sperm allergy are redness, swelling, pain, itching, and a burning sensation in the vaginal area. Symptoms usually start about 10-30 minutes after contact with semen. They may not be confined to the vaginal area; they can occur in any area that has contact with semen, including the skin and the mouth. Symptoms can last for a few hours or a few days.
Severe allergic reaction
In severe cases, anaphylaxis is possible. Anaphylaxis symptoms typically appear within minutes of exposure and require immediate medical attention.
Anaphylaxis symptoms include :
• difficulty breathing
• swollen tongue or throat
• rapid, weak pulse
• dizziness or fainting
What treatment options are available?
The condition is often misdiagnosed as vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), a yeast infection, or a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) like herpes. One clue for diagnosis is condom use. If sperm allergy is present, the woman should not have any symptoms when she and her partner use a condom. The allergic reaction should only happen during unprotected sex.
Sperm allergy is frustrating for many couples and can be a strain on relationships. It can also complicate matters for couples who wish to conceive, since this usually can’t happen through unprotected intercourse. However, there are ways for a woman to become pregnant even with sperm allergy. The allergy does not affect her fertility and pregnancy can be achieved through artificial insemination after sperm is washed.
A semen allergy is a rare condition that, like any allergy, can develop or fade over time. If you’re experiencing symptoms, it’s important that you see your doctor for diagnosis. If left untreated, a semen allergy can disrupt your sex life and affect your overall well-being.
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