There are a plethora of wild things people are allergic to, from nuts to pollen, cats, grass, and even alcohol. But did you know that some people are allergic to semen? This extremely rare condition is known as human seminal plasma hypersensitivity (HSP) and it occurs when one is allergic to the proteins that are found in sperm.
Healthline reports that the condition is more prevalent in women and in the United States up to 40,000 women have HSP. However, experts also believe that semen allergies could possibly be misdiagnosed for other more common conditions like yeast infections or STIs. They could even be mistaken for allergic reactions to other products like lube or latex condoms.
While some people realise their allergies the very first time they have sexual intercourse, it can also be developed through a period of time. Furthermore, it’s possible that you can be allergic to one person’s semen, but not to another’s.
Sperm allergy symptoms
If you’ve had some uncomfortable post-coital experiences and you’re not sure if it’s HPS, the most common symptoms to watch out for are: redness, burning, swelling, pain, hives, and itching. These symptoms usually occur in the vaginal canal or vulva, but it can also appear anywhere your body has come in contact with the fluid, including your hands, mouth, chest, and anus. According to experts at Healthline, symptoms will normally present itself around 20 to 30 minutes after exposure.
If you're worried you may have a semen allergy, contact your OB/GYN.
We all agree that staying away from sperm is probably not the most viable options—especially for heterosexual women who are in a sexually active relationship with male partners. However, to stop the allergies from taking place the most effective and convenient solution is to wear a condom during sex.
For those of you who prefer to not wear a condom or eventually want to conceive a child, you can opt for desensitisation. This is a procedure in which an allergist or immunologist will help you build your tolerance to semen by slowly exposing you to different concentrations of semen.
You can also take an over-the-counter antihistamine before you engage in sexual activity to reduce your symptoms.