Allergies are quite common, but how common is a semen allergy? Yes, there is such a thing. And women who have this very rare allergy cannot have sex without having a sore, painful vagina or hives or even going into anaphylactic shock. While it seems cruel that something so natural should have consequences, your body may sometimes have trouble distinguishing the harmless proteins from the harmful ones. In such cases, you experience an allergic reaction. If you tend to itch and burn after having sex, whether you are allergic to semen is worth considering. Here are a few things you might want to know about this allergy.
Simply put, a semen allergy Ė which also goes by the names sperm allergy and seminal plasma hypersensitivity Ė is a reaction that some women experience to their partnerís semen proteins.1†There arenít enough documented cases of whether this allergy is as common in men. In general, it is understood that if you are in a heterosexual relationship and you are the woman, you may be susceptible to semen allergies.
In most cases of semen allergy, reactions donít go so far as hives and anaphylactic shock. You may most probably end up with itching, redness, and soreness in and around the vagina. So, it is easy to confuse an allergic reaction to semen with yeast or bacterial infections of the vagina, both of which cause itching and redness. One way to tell the two apart is to use a condom. If you use a condom during intercourse and still have redness, you most probably an infection. However, if using a condom prevents you from developing redness, you are most likely allergic to semen.
There is a pitfall here, though. Some people are allergic to more than one trigger. If you are allergic to both latex and semen, the condom can also cause an allergic reaction and lead you to a false conclusion.
If you suspect that you are allergic to semen, visit an allergist for a confirmed diagnosis. The allergist may inject you with a small portion of your partnerís semen under your skin to test for a reaction. If you have a reaction, the diagnosis is confirmed.
Your allergist may recommend a popular form of treatment known as the intravaginal graded challenge. In this procedure, increasing quantities of semen are introduced into your vagina at graded intervals to build resistance to the proteins. The process is always carried out in a controlled setting and requires close monitoring for severe reactions.
Even if you havenít been allergic to semen previously, it is quite possible that you develop an allergy to it many years after exposure or that you may be allergic only to one partnerís semen. Often, women report developing this condition in their mid-thirties.†So, if all treatments for infections fail, the diagnosis of an allergic reaction might be worth considering.
A semen allergy does not affect your fertility by itself.†So, if you are looking to conceive and have children soon after youíve been diagnosed with it, you can opt for artificial insemination.†The procedure involves washing the semen thoroughly and almost guarantees that you conceive without having an allergic reaction.
In some cases, after being treated with the intravaginal graded challenge, women report developing resistance to semen and do not have an allergic reaction to it anymore. So, if youíre one of those women, it might just be possible for you to conceive in the conventional way. However, itís a good idea to meet an allergist to discuss your options first.
A semen allergy can be uncomfortable to discuss and share with your partner. So, you may find yourself keeping secrets or avoiding sex entirely. However, if you are diagnosed with this allergy, itís crucial that you discuss the matter with your partner. Share resources about the condition and your personal experience so that he understands your situation better and is there for you emotionally. Your partnerís support will go a long way in successful treatment.
All our bodies have quirks. So, if you have a semen allergy, donít be embarrassed about it. See a doctor and disclose your symptoms without hesitation. Only then can you be treated well.