Can You Be Allergic to Sperm?

Some day you might find a potential lover who seems like the perfect man for you. You get along great and it's time to go to bed to see if there is chemistry in the bedroom. In some cases, this could go well and in others, the act of intercourse leads to inflamed vulva and an itchy vagina. You might try again and get the same results. What could be happening to cause these symptoms? Can you be allergic to sperm? Could this be the cause of the problem?

Can You Be Allergic to Sperm?

Unfortunately, you can be allergic to sperm. An allergy to sperm, also called seminal plasma hypersensitivity or semen allergy, is believed to be a type of allergy to a certain component of sperm – prostate specific antigen or PSA. Certainly, other proteins could be part causes of this type of allergy, but an allergy to PSA is the primary one. It doesn't just happen the first time you have sex but can develop at any point in your life. About half the time, it happens the first time you have sex. But one thing that needs to be made clearly is that in actuality, you aren't allergic to sperm but to the seminal fluid, which is the liquid that sperm can be found in.

Usually, the body is set up to attack foreign antigens. Historically speaking, it was once believed that it couldn't be possible to develop an allergy to another person's bodily fluids or to your own bodily fluids, but, in the days since autoimmune diseases have been discovered, this has found to be untrue. While sperm allergies usually are a problem of women, the answer to the question "can you be allergic to sperm?" can be "yes" for men as well.

The following video just tells about a story about allergy to sperm.

Allergy to Sperm in Women

It is estimated that as many as 40,000 US women have seminal plasma allergy, meaning they are allergic to a man's sperm. Unfortunately, that man could be their sexual partner.

Can you be allergic to sperm? Yes and there are two different reactions you can get allergic to sperm. The first is an entire-body reaction and the second is seen only with symptoms in the vagina. You can also have both types of symptoms. If you have only vaginal symptoms, it is because you have lesser amount of antibodies to sperm when compared to those who have a systemic allergy to sperm.

Symptoms of vaginal reactions in a sperm allergy include:

  • Vaginal swelling, itching, burning or irritation
  • Vaginitis, which may be chronic
  • Extreme pain in the vagina
  • Blisters, soreness, redness, and welts in the vaginal area

Symptoms of systemic reactions:

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest and wheezing
  • Feeling faint
  • Having itching, burning or swelling of the body
  • Having hives
  • Developing anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening, although there have been no known deaths from semen allergy

The symptoms may occur just a couple minutes after sex or several hours later. You can get the allergy as a slow progression of symptoms occurring over several months or several years, but some develop the symptoms suddenly. If you have a semen allergy, you are more likely to be an "allergic person"who has problems like asthma, hay fever, and allergies to food. When you have your first attack of semen allergy, this tends to continue and worsen over time.


You can choose from several different treatments for semen allergy. What you choose depends on how severe your symptoms are, and whether or not you want to get pregnant. Some of the main treatment choices include:

  • Desensitization. You may become exposed gradually to increasing amounts of sperm so that you can gradually get used to being exposed to it. In a sense, you build up a tolerance to sperm.
  • Avoidance of semen. You can have your partner wear condoms every time you have sex so that you aren't exposed to semen. Having your partner pull out prior to ejaculation isn't usually a good option because there can still be semen present before ejaculation.
  • Having fertility treatments. You may have to go through fertility treatment if you are allergic to semen. This means having in vitro fertilization treatments in which the sperm is mixed with the egg outside the body or the sperm is washed of semen before inseminating it into the body.

Semen allergies can be disconcerting, but they are not insurmountable. There are ways to fix the problem. You can maintain a normal sex life and have normal fertility even if you have a sperm allergy, especially if you speak with your doctor about the various choices available.

Allergy to Sperm in Men

If you are a man and find yourself with symptoms of the flu right after ejaculation, it may be possible that you have a semen allergy. This, as in female semen allergies, can be treated, but it can take several years to treat.

The condition is called post-orgasmic illness syndrome and it is rare enough that many doctors are unaware of it. The main symptoms of the condition include runny nose, fever, extreme fatigue and irritation of the eyes, beginning right after you ejaculate and lasting up to a week. If the situation is minor, you may need no treatment and will experience a gradual resolution of your symptoms. If the situation is severe, you may need to seek the advice of your physician. Your doctor may not know about the condition, but it is worth to find out if there is a way toward better health and fewer symptoms.

How to Make Sure If You're Allergic to Sperm or Not

If you want to get the direct and sure answer to "Can you be allergic to sperm?" you can have a skin test for semen allergy or have an IgE allergen-specific immunoglobulin test.

  • Scratch test. This is a skin test in which the individual is exposed to semen through scratching the skin with allergen. The positive test will show a wheal, reddening, or swelling in the affected area that resembles a mosquito bite. The scratch test is very simple and doesn't involve any bleeding.
  • Allergen-specific Immunoglobulin test. This test is less accurate than having the skin test described above. It is done whenever a person suffers from a skin disease like psoriasis or eczema, which makes it hard to determine the condition. It is basically a blood test that looks for IgE immunoglobulins to sperm.

Overall, these tests are about 50-90 percent sensitive or about 70-75 percent on average. The test results will become available in 7-14 days if you have these tests.

Except sperm allergy, there are also other strange allergies you may never hear about: 

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