A sperm allergy is a rare allergic reaction to male sperm. Like any other allergy, it is caused by a sensitization of the immune system to certain proteins in the semen. Antihistamines are an acute, desensitization a possible permanent cure of the allergy.
What is sperm allergy?
Although very rare, allergic reactions to semen do exist in both women and men. This semen allergy occurs when the body’s immune system identifies the proteins in semen as hostile invaders, such as viruses or bacteria. For definition of hlp in English, please visit acronymmonster.com.
The allergic reaction should therefore be noticed after performing oral, vaginal or anal sex without a barrier (e.g. condom ). Men are less likely to be allergic to semen than women, but they too can experience an allergic reaction when having sex with other men, or even have an allergic reaction to their own semen.
Symptoms vary, with many sufferers noticing itching, redness, and stinging. A sperm allergy can cause fertility problems because the white blood cells can prevent the sperm from reaching the eggs.
Typically, a semen allergy does not manifest itself upon first contact with semen. Most people can come into contact with semen several times before an allergy develops.
The immune system becomes sensitized over a period of time and the white blood cells develop immunoglobulin E; an antibody against the protein in the semen. Once these antibodies have formed, they react the next time sperm enters and bind to the protein cells. They also ensure the release of certain chemicals, such as histamine, which cause redness, itching, stinging, swelling, i.e. the usual allergic reactions.
People who are allergic to their partner’s sperm are usually allergic to any sperm. Straight men can also develop an allergy to their own sperm. This usually happens when it comes into contact with your blood, such as during a vasectomy.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Sperm allergy manifests itself as an allergic reaction to contact with semen. However, it is not the sperm that should be mentioned as the allergen, but a specific protein in the semen that is common to all men.
The allergic reactions in affected women usually occur between 10 and 30 minutes after contact with the allergen. Symptoms similar to those of hay fever can occur. This includes sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and breathing problems. However, the contact reactions in the intimate area are much more pronounced. This can lead to itching, pain, swelling, redness and rashes. Some women report persistent vaginal contractions after potential contact with ejaculate.
It can lead to vomiting or diarrhea. The vegetative symptoms can persist for a long time. In the worst case, contact with the allergen can lead to anaphylactic shock. This usually means cardiac arrest, damage to internal organs and a high risk of death.
Men can also suffer from sperm allergies, although the symptoms are the same for them as for women. Flu-like symptoms can also occur. However, you experience these symptoms anew with every ejaculation. In all observed cases, the allergy is limited to one’s own ejaculate. Foreign ejaculate did not cause any problems.
Diagnosis & History
If a sperm allergy is suspected, the affected person is usually given a skin test or a special immunoglobulin test. Sufferers who experience anaphylaxis from the allergy should be treated with epinephrine immediately. In a skin test, the patient’s skin is slightly scratched or pricked and exposed to the allergen. If the patient has a sperm allergy, this will show up as a reddening of the skin, similar to a mosquito bite.
The doctor will measure the intensity of the swelling, and therefore the allergy. A special immunoglobulin test to determine an allergy is much less accurate than a skin test and is usually only used if the patient has a serious skin disease.
A semen allergy does not always have to lead to special compilations or to complaints. These only occur when the affected person comes into contact with sperm. This can cause redness and itching on the skin. Pain can also occur and the skin appears swollen.
Furthermore, the symptoms increase if contact with the sperm is not interrupted. In most cases, the symptoms will go away on their own once contact is broken. In serious cases, however, treatment by an emergency doctor is necessary to alleviate the symptoms.
Sperm allergy can lead to serious symptoms and significantly reduce the quality of life, especially in the case of existing skin problems. The sperm allergy can also have a negative effect on the relationship with your partner and possibly lead to tension.
Treatment of this allergy is not necessary in every case. However, sensitization can also be carried out to alleviate the symptoms. There are no complications. The life expectancy of the affected patient is also not negatively affected by the disease.
When should you go to the doctor?
As a rule, a sperm allergy must always be treated by a doctor. Self-healing cannot occur, so that the affected person is dependent on medical treatment.
A doctor should be consulted if the patient shows signs of an allergy or an allergic reaction after contact with semen. This can lead to a strong runny nose, sneezing or even severe breathing difficulties. Itching or reddening of the skin after contact with semen can also indicate a semen allergy and should always be examined by a doctor. In severe cases, it can also lead to severe diarrhea or even vomiting. Some sufferers also show the symptoms of flu, which should also be examined for contact with semen.
A semen allergy can usually be diagnosed by a general practitioner . Further treatment is then usually carried out by an allergist. However, whether a complete cure is possible cannot be predicted.
Treatment & Therapy
Desensitization is used as a temporary cure for sperm allergy. With this method, the patient is exposed to an increasing amount of allergens for a certain length of time in order to accustom the body to the sperm.
Women who want to become pregnant may have to undergo artificial insemination if this desensitization is unsuccessful. Allergy medications such as antihistamines are also used to combat the symptoms. If pregnancy is not to be achieved, sex with a barrier is recommended, e.g. with a condom.
In artificial insemination, a sample of the semen is taken and the specific allergen is removed from the sample. This allergen-free sample is then inserted into the woman’s uterus. Desensitization occurs either through the targeted administration of the partner’s semen into the woman’s vagina, or through the injection of the allergen into the partner’s bloodstream at short intervals.
There is currently no effective prevention of semen allergy. But there are some ways to reduce symptoms. People with allergies can take antihistamines before sex to reduce symptoms during and after sex.
Wearing condoms also reduces contact with semen and thus the symptoms. People prone to anaphylaxis should always carry an epinephrine pen and instruct friends and family to use it.
Sperm allergy is an under-researched condition. Scheduled follow-up examinations are rarely carried out after diagnosis. The patients themselves are responsible for the implementation and acceptance of all measures. Many doctors assume that sperm allergy cannot be cured.
To prevent the effects of symptoms, women can protect themselves by having their sex partner use a condom. This represents the simplest and most effective aftercare for a sperm allergy. This measure is also suitable for partnerships between men. In addition, mild forms of the disease usually run their course without any problems if allergy-suppressing medication is used.
In contrast to a tumor disease, sperm allergy is not about preventing the recurrence of a disease. It is known to be permanent. Rather, patients should be supported in getting along in their everyday lives. Complications such as allergic shock should be avoided.
Long-term treatment involves the use of a condom or suitable medication. A high degree of personal responsibility is demanded of those affected. The effects of careless actions on the partner must not be underestimated.
You can do that yourself
People with a sperm allergy can independently and responsibly take care in everyday life not to come into contact with the body fluids of the man. In particular, the contact of semen with the skin of the affected persons should be avoided.
The first time you touch the semen, wash it off with running water as quickly as possible. A cleansing of the body should take place so that the allergic reactions do not show up at all or only minimally if possible. Simply wiping the semen is not sufficient, as individual elements of the body fluid remain on the skin’s surface and lead to unpleasant health developments.
When engaging in sexual activity, a condom should always be used. In these cases, the condom is used not only as a contraceptive to protect against a possible pregnancy, but also to avoid close contact with the body fluid and thus risk anaphylactic shock.
The partner should be informed of the presence of the allergy before intimate contact. Information about the possible health consequences should take place at an early stage in order to avoid unpleasant situations or a lack of understanding on the part of the partner. If men suffer from sperm allergy, they should make sure to change their underwear regularly. Good personal hygiene is also important when dealing with the allergy.