Sperm allergy also called as seminal allergy or human seminal plasma hypersensitivity (HSP), is a rare allergic condition to proteins found in seminal fluid of men. Females are the once mostly affected. Studies do show that it’s possible to be allergic to your own semen. When such reaction takes place, it’s known as post-orgasmic illness syndrome.
Sperm Allergy: Why is it Caused And How to Treat it?
Sperm allergy may typically occur because the body exhibits allergic responses to certain proteins or chemicals present in your partner’s semen. The allergy to seminal fluid occurs due to a glycoprotein, which is secreted by the male prostate gland.
Some researchers also suggest that certain medications or food allergens found in sperm can trigger symptoms. Beyond having unprotected sex, risk factors for HSP aren’t clear. It’s possible for semen allergy to develop in women who haven’t had any prior symptoms after exposure to seminal fluids. You may also experience symptoms with one partner and not another.
Although semen allergies can develop at any time, many women report their symptoms began during their early 30s. Older research found that many women with the disorder also experienced recurrent vaginitis prior to diagnosis.
What are the symptoms?
You may be sperm allergic if you experience one or more of the following symptoms after exposure:
For women, symptoms usually occur on the vulva or inside the vaginal canal. For men, symptoms may occur on the shaft or the area of skin above the genitals. That said, symptoms may appear to any part of the body coming in contact with the seminal fluid. This may include:
- or any body part
Allergic reactions to semen are often localized, but some people may experience symptoms that affect their whole body. For example, men who are allergic to their own semen may experience severe fatigue and a flu-like state right after ejaculation. Overall, symptoms usually start to appear within few minutes of exposure. They may last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the severity.
Severe allergic reaction
In severe cases, anaphylactic condition is possible. Anaphylaxis symptoms usually appear within few minutes of exposure and require immediate medical consideration.
Anaphylaxis symptoms include:
- difficulty breathing
- swollen tongue or throat
- rapid, weak pulse
- dizziness or fainting
What treatment options are available?
Treatment for HSP aims to minimize or prevent symptoms. The best way to do this is to wear condoms every time you have sex. Men who are allergic to their own semen are advised to wear a condom during masturbation, though this may not prevent some body-wide symptoms.
If you prefer not to wear a condom, talk to your doctor about your options about desensitization.
- Intra-vaginal Seminal Graded Challenge:
In this method, the doctor injects small doses of your partner’s semen into your vagina at regular time interval.
- Intra-uterine Insemination:
If you are highly sensitive to semen, and your body shows strong allergic reactions to it despite going for treatment, then the doctor will suggest you go for an Intrauterine or Artificial insemination to conceive. Herein, the doctor injects isolated sperms (only sperms without seminal fluid) into your body at the time of ovulation for increasing the chances of pregnancy. The main aim of this method is increasing the tolerance of semen in your body to avoid adverse reactions.
After the initial desensitization, consistent exposure is necessary to maintain your tolerance. However, please do not try this method without proper medical guidance, as it can have life-threatening consequences.
Your doctor may recommend you to take an over-the-counter antihistamine before performing any sexual activity. This may help minimize all the symptoms, especially if you or your partner opts against using a condom to prevent exposure to the semen.
A semen allergy is a rare condition, like any other allergy, which 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 cause outrage in your sex life and affect your overall well-being. Your doctor can work with you to develop a plan for symptom management, as well as discuss your options for family planning.
Sperm Allergy is indeed an awkward situation and as a couple, you need to be mature while you deal with such a sensitive problem. Consult a medical expert for a family planning strategy and on how to avoid any further complications.
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