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Semen Allergy: Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Treatment, Complications

What is Semen Allergy?

Semen allergy is an allergic reaction to the protein in the semen. People with it may notice symptoms on coming in contact with the semen. It is also known as sperm allergy, human seminal plasma hypersensitivity, or semen contact allergy. Research suggested that 8% of females in the United States suffer from human seminal plasma hypersensitivity(1).

Causes and Risk Factors for Semen Allergy

Semen allergy is a rare condition occurring due to a reaction of the immune system to the protein in semen. This leads to an allergic reaction. The exact cause of the occurrence of human seminal plasma hypersensitivity is unknown.

Semen allergy is known to be more common in females. More than 40% of females experience its occurrence for the first time after having sexual intercourse(1).

It is commonly diagnosed between 20-30 years of age. They might experience it with a sexual partner. It may also occur suddenly with a long-term sexual partner.

If a person has a family history of human semen plasma hypersensitivity, the risk of suffering from it increases.

Males can also be allergic to their own semen. It is termed post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS). It is a rare condition and may lead to a flu-like reaction.

A person with the post-orgasmic syndrome may have fatigue, headache, stuffy nose, fever, and sore throat.

Symptoms of Semen Allergy

A person may experience symptoms of semen allergy 10-30 minutes after coming in contact with semen(2). The symptoms may last for a few hours to even a few days.

Mostly the symptoms of semen allergy resolve in 24 hours. There may be pain, malaise, and itching for several days to weeks.

Once a person experiences symptom and they would experience symptoms regardless of their sexual partner.

Localized Reactions

Semen allergy may affect the vulvovaginal area, penis, or any part of the body, which semen comes in contact with.

The symptoms may include:

There is blistering around the vulvovaginal opening and it can also occur around the penis.

Systemic Reactions

In some cases, semen allergy may affect the entire body. There may be hives, difficulty in breathing, and swelling on the lips, tongue, and throat.

Anyone developing severe life-threatening symptoms should seek a medical emergency.

How to Diagnose Semen Allergy?

Semen allergy may have similar symptoms to sexually transmitted disease, yeast infection, or vaginitis.

Medical history is taken by the doctor. The doctor may perform a vaginal examination, vaginal swab, and blood test. A nucleic acid amplification test may be done to rule out sexually transmitted diseases.

Skin prick test may also be performed using a sample of semen from a sexual partner. The doctor checks for any reaction.

Treatment Options for Semen Allergy

The treatment options for semen allergy may include:

  • Using barrier method during sexual intercourse
  • Oral antihistamines 30-60 minutes before intercourse
  • Epinephrine autoinjector or EpiPen to handle severe allergy
  • Desensitizing treatment, which may involve gradual dilution of semen from a sexual partner into the vagina or injecting semen protein under the skin

Complications of Semen Allergy

Semen allergy might affect sexual function. There may be relationship issues.

There may also be an anaphylaxis reaction that might need immediate medical attention.

It might affect the ability to conceive as people would be using barrier methods to protect themselves from infection. If a person with semen allergy wants to conceive, they should consider artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization. In these methods, washing sperms may help in preventing allergic reactions.

Semen allergy is a rare condition that may cause uncomfortable symptoms and affect a person’s sex life. If not treated it may also affect a person’s relationship. It may occasionally lead to allergic reactions that may be life-threatening. Desensitizing injection is found to relieve symptoms of semen allergy. It needs to be ongoing for sustained results with gradual exposure to two to three times a week.

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 11, 2022

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