Treating semen allergy effectively

  • By Sahana Rajan

Symptoms - Minimally characterized by intense discomfort on contact with semen, other symptoms of this condition also include pain, redness, and inflammation, burning sensation and itching.

The signs of sperm allergy generally set in approximately 10 to 30 minutes after semen contact. The allergic reaction is not limited to the genital region and could affect other areas like the mouth and the skin. Depending on the severity of the condition, the signs could last from a few hours to days.

While the symptoms are generalized to a certain region in most cases, there are other signs which could affect the entire body. These signs include swelling, breathing issues, hives, and in extreme cases, anaphylaxis that threatens the life of the patient.

Diagnosis - The diagnosis of sperm allergy does not generally occur on the first experience. Moreover, it is often misrecognized to be vaginitis (vaginal inflammation), a yeast infection, or a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) like the herpes. The allergy is generally caught after recurring experiences. Sperm allergy could arise abruptly in certain cases of long-term sexual relationships too. The use/nonuse of condoms could generally indicate you have a semen allergy; those suffering from semen allergy do not experience the symptoms when a condom is used. The surefire way of diagnosing the condition is through intradermal testing. In this test, a small quantity of your partner’s semen will be introduced under the skin to observe the response.

Treatment - Semen allergy can cause trouble in relationships and it is best to approach a gynecologist for viable treatment. Those who wish to conceive can take recourse to artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Medical studies have revealed the effectiveness of desensitization process which is aimed at building up tolerance to semen. The process generally consists of exposing the male or female patient to increasing quantity of semen over a span of time. This has been considered a transient cure for sperm allergy. In order to ensure that you are tolerant to the semen, it is important to undergo the treatment regularly.

There are two forms of desensitization: protein sensitization and semen desensitization. In the former, semen proteins are introduced to the blood of the patient. Low doses of protein extracted from the partner’s semen are injected into the blood at an interval of 15 minutes for many hours. In semen desensitization following a gap of 20 minutes, gradually increasing quantity of semen is placed in the vagina. This process continues for many hours.

Both the procedures have to be undertaken at least two times per week for them to ensure effectiveness. Apart from this, antihistamines can be used to lessen the symptoms like red and itchy skin. In case of anaphylaxis, epinephrine is used. This is infused in the blood through the skin.

Did you know that over 12% of women suffer from semen allergy? A discussion at Manchester Metropolitan University revealed that the most vulnerable age groups susceptible to this condition are women between the age of 20 and 30.