Allergic to Sperm?

We’ve discussed latex and lube allergies before, but what if you’ve ruled those things out and you are still experiencing the symptoms of an allergic reaction? Well, believe it or not, it is possible to be allergic to sperm.

CondomDepot-Learn-HI-allergic-to-sperm

Known in the medical community as seminal plasma hypersensitivity, or a semen allergy, a sperm allergy is fairly rare– but it does affect up to 40,000 Americans. The allergy is not to the sperm itself, but rather to the proteins in the semen. This histamine reaction is found not only in women, but in men as well. In fact, there have been a few documented cases in which men have been allergic to their own semen.

Semen allergies are often confused with a STD, because STDs are so much more common than sperm allergies are, so they are rarely tested for. Typically, the allergic reaction begins approximately 20 minutes after contact with sperm and can last up to three days after exposure.

Sperm Allergy Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash/Hives/Welts
  • Vaginal burning/itching
  • Redness around the genitals
  • Extreme swelling of the vagina
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness

Testing for a Sperm Allergy

Determining whether one is allergic to semen or not is a fairly simple procedure which can be performed by an allergy specialist. If you feel as though you may have this allergy, talk openly to your doctor and describe your symptoms in full detail. If they feel like this could be the source of your symptoms, they will schedule an allergy test. Like in any other allergy test, diluted sperm can be introduced in a controlled environment during a skin test. This is called a semen immunocap test. Blood is drawn and sent out for laboratory testing for a final ruling.

Out of Harm’s Way– Keeping Sperm At Bay

Of course, abstaining from sex and masturbation (if you produce sperm) is one way to avoid the symptoms of sperm allergies. But, that seems extreme and a somewhat frustrating way to live, especially if you are in a relationship. So, if one of you has a sperm allergy, what can be done about it? The absolute best way to defend yourself or your partner from having an allergic reaction to sperm is to always use a condom, like the Trustex Ribbed & Studded.

allergy-shot

Other than abstinence and condoms, there is one more option. That is to receive costly allergy shots of your partner’s sperm on a regular basis. This requires the partner to provide sperm samples which are mixed into a solution. The shots have greater and greater strength as time goes on, which helps to build a resistance or tolerance to their sperm. However, once the series of allergy shots are over with, if the couple doesn’t engage in unprotected sex very often, or a new partner is introduced, the allergy will return. This is why always using a condom is the best option.

It is also really important to keep sperm out of the mouth during oral. Using a flavored condom is the perfect way for partners with a sperm allergy to be safer. Why miss out on the closeness that oral sex provides, when you can use a yummy Trustex Vanilla condom?

Adult toys, like the Lelo Nea and the Pure Blue Silicone are great alternatives to penetrative sex as well. Using mutual masturbation for enjoyment instead of vaginal, oral or anal sex can be a way to be intimate without coming into direct contact with sperm as well. Sexting, Skyping, Snapchatting and phone sex are all safer ways to have sexy time when one partner has a sperm allergy, as well.

Sperm Allergies and Pregnancy

If you test positive for a histamine reaction to sperm, and you want to have a child, don’t panic or become depressed. It is possible to have in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination with processed or “washed” semen and to become pregnant.

Source: [CUMC]

About Condom Depot

The Condom Depot Learning Center provides free safer sex ed and has recently been resourced by Men's Health, Go Ask Alice, Her Campus, LifeHacker, Scarleteen, Bustle, Madame Noire, Jezebel, Vice, Stallion Style, aPlus, Sex Talk Tuesday and Adult Sex Ed Month.

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