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Am I Allergic to My Partner's Sperm? Is It Even Possible?

Am I Allergic to My Partner's Sperm? Is It Even Possible?

“Am I allergic to my partner’s sperm?” This might seem like a strange question because most allergies are due to food, dust, or pollen. But being allergic to sperm, or rather, a semen allergy, is indeed a real thing. Why do some people have this type of allergy, what are its symptoms, and what can be done about it?

Semen Allergy: Am I Allergic to My Partner’s Sperm?

A semen allergy is when a person has an allergic reaction to semen. It’s not an allergy to sperm itself, but rather to proteins that are contained in semen. It is also known as human seminal plasma protein hypersensitivity (SPH).

It’s still not clear how many people actually have a semen allergy. This is partly because it’s a rare condition, and some people who have it might be embarrassed of their condition.

Because it’s such a rare condition, it’s not uncommon for it to be misdiagnosed. More often than not, the symptoms can be mistaken for vaginitis, which is an inflammation of the vagina, or sometimes a sexually transmitted disease or STD.

It’s also mostly women who have an allergy to semen. Though, new research has found that some men can also be allergic to their own semen.

How Do You Know If You’re Allergic to Semen?

The symptoms of a semen allergy can vary from person to person. The most common symptoms include the following:

  • A burning sensation in the vagina
  • Hives in one specific area or the entire body
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling
  • Anaphylaxis, or a more serious allergic reaction
  • Asthma attacks, particularly for women who already have asthma

In some cases, patients experience more localized symptoms. However, it is possible for the symptoms to affect the entire body, particularly in more serious cases.

A semen allergy can happen during a person’s first time having sex. Though it’s also possible to suddenly experience it after having different partners, or even just one long-term partner.

In some cases, women can experience it with one partner, but not with another. So there’s no easy way to figure out beforehand if you have a semen allergy or not. However, one way to know is if you don’t experience the symptoms when your partner uses a condom. If this is the case, then you could possibly have an allergy to semen.

Semen Allergy and Planning a Family

Having a semen allergy can be difficult, especially if you and your partner want to have a baby. After all, experiencing an allergic reaction each time you have sex can make it difficult for you to conceive.

What couples usually do is to seek medical help, such as artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization. In these procedures, the semen is usually “washed” to make sure that you won’t experience any allergic reaction.

What Can You Do About a Semen Allergy?

If you think that you might be allergic to semen, consult your doctor. They will conduct tests to confirm whether or not you do have an allergy to semen. Even if you have been diagnosed with a semen allergy, don’t fret. You can still enjoy a sex life and a family life.

Here are some things you can do about a semen allergy:

  • When having sex, use protection to avoid contact with your partner’s sperm.
  • In some cases, using an antihistamine before intercourse can help prevent an allergic reaction.
  • A process called subcutaneous desensitization can be done to improve your body’s tolerance to semen. These are usually effective forms of treatment, but need to be done 2-3 times a week
  • If you’re in a relationship, and you’re allergic to your partner’s semen, you can also seek couples therapy.

Remember, you should not be embarrassed about a semen allergy. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor, “Am I allergic to my partner’s sperm?” It’s best to be open and honest with your doctor so that they can provide you with the help you need for your condition. Seeking help can also save you a lot of discomfort, and potentially save you from a more serious allergic reaction.

Learn about Sexual Wellness here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Allergic to semen? | Go Ask Alice!, https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/allergic-semen-1, Accessed January 18, 2021

Semen allergy: A cause of infertility? – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infertility/expert-answers/semen-allergy/faq-20058370#:~:text=In%20rare%20cases%2C%20people%20have,in%20the%20outer%20genital%20area., Accessed January 18, 2021

What is a sperm allergy? | ISSM, https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-a-sperm-allergy/, Accessed January 18, 2021

Could I Be Allergic to Sperm?, https://thewell.northwell.edu/dear-doctor/could-i-be-allergic-sperm, Accessed January 18, 2021

Semen contact allergy | DermNet NZ, https://dermnetnz.org/topics/semen-contact-allergy/, Accessed January 18, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara on Jan 19
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.
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