Sperm allergy or hypersensitivity to human seminal plasma (HPS) is a rare disorder that affects the rate of about 12% of women.
The disease is manifested by symptoms (itching, redness and swelling of the female genital area, blisters, pain, difficulty breathing, hives or anaphylactic shock) that begins after about 5-30 minutes of contact with the sperm vagina and may persist for several days in a row.
The researchers found that the blame for these allergic reactions are certain proteins in semen that have not yet been fully identified.
In general, if hypersensitivity allergic response in human seminal plasma does not appear to first contact with the allergen semen (sperm protein that causes the allergy). In fact, some people may be repeatedly exposed to the same allergen before an allergic reaction to occur.
This is because, with the first interaction of the organism with the allergen, the body becomes sensitized gradually. During this process, white blood cells develop immunoglobulin E antibodies that react in contact with sperm seminal proteins.
Thus, once occurring immunoglobulin E antibodies, they immediately begin to identify allergens once sperm enters the body. The same antibodies stimulates the production of histamine, a substance which triggers symptoms such as hives, swelling, itching and, in severe cases, anaphylactic shock (low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, shock and unconsciousness).
Patients who experience allergic reactions to seminal fluid partner are allergic to semen in general. Allergies can be caused by any contact with the allergen, during oral sex, vaginal or anal.
Men can suffer and her allergy to semen, both external sources, as that produced by your own body. The second situation occurs when blood comes into contact with semen, usually during a vasectomy, testicular torsion, infection or trauma.
Sperm allergy symptoms vary from one patient to another. The most common clinical manifestations are burning and itching sensations, genital inflammation or skin area in contact with semen.
Allergic reactions can cause the moderate urticaria that occurs spontaneously and rapidly disappears. Red dots rash usually in groups, disappearing and appearing successively.
Another symptom that some patients it shows is angioedema, which is manifested by inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue. This condition is similar to urticaria, but going deep under the skin. The swelling usually occur around the eyes and mouth, but may be present on the hands, feet or neck.
Anaphylaxis occurs in rare cases, an allergic reaction is systemic, localized in several body regions. Symptoms of anaphylactic shock may vary from mild to severe and can be life threatening.
The most dangerous manifestations of anaphylactic hypotension, respiratory difficulties and loss of consciousness. This emergency requires immediate medical attention.
When the doctor suspects an allergy to semen, patients can do a skin test or a test of immunoglobulin E to confirm the diagnosis. In case of anaphylactic shock, the patient is treated with epinephrine emergency even before diagnosis.
Allergic skin test help elucidate the hypothesis that the patient is allergic to the proteins in the partner’s sperm. During the medical examination, the skin is exposed to allergens in semen, so that they can identify the allergic reaction. If this occurs, usually in the form of red bumps diameter is measured to determine the severity of the allergy (the higher, the more severe allergy).
Immunoglobulin E can be used also in the diagnosis of allergy to sperm, although not as accurate as allergic skin test. Doctors choose this method of diagnosis in patients with coexisting skin conditions (like eczema or psoriasis) that make it difficult disease skin test interpretation.
During this procedure, a sample of blood is taken from the patient and then sent to a specialized laboratory in test interpretation immunoglobulin E allergen sperm is stretched on a disc special paper and then mixed with the patient’s blood. The degree of radioactivity between the two substances is higher, the higher will be the level of immunoglobulin E and allergy severity. The test results come in about 14 days from biological sampling and show percentage of allergy severity.
Unfortunately, the treatments used to control common allergies do not work if human seminal plasma hypersensitivity.
The first line of prevention is condom triggering symptoms. This method is of course useless for couples who want to conceive, so special desensitizing injections may be therapeutic solution. Injectable substance used is dictated by prior analysis of the proteins in the partner’s sperm.
Another method involves placing the vagina of diluted sperm samples, increasing semen concentration gradually while subsequently administered injections. The inserts are made at intervals of 20 minutes over a period of several hours.
Some doctors also recommended in the treatment for allergy to semen, maintenance unprotected sex as frequently. This can be a natural way of desensitizing the body of women and an alternative to other types of treatment, when they do not work.
An important complication of semen allergy can be difficult to conceive a child. Antibodies attack sperm in the woman’s body enters the body, significantly reducing chances of fertilization the egg. In this situation, patients are advised to seek procedures that desensitization or artificial insemination.