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Signs of Sperm Allergy?

What is a sperm allergy, and how do I know whether I have one?
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profile picture of Samuel Wood, MD
Reproductive Endocrinologist
Updated
March 2, 2017
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It sounds like the punch line in a bad joke, but it’s true that some women do actually have an allergic reaction to sperm. Symptoms of a sperm allergy can include burning, itching or swelling after sex as a reaction to the sperm itself or to the seminal fluid that the sperm swim around in. In some (really unfortunate!) cases, a woman might be allergic only to her partner’s semen or sperm.

While symptoms can sometimes be mild, in a few instances there can be a severe reaction that includes a rash, wheezing and even anaphylaxis (a narrowing of the airways, which can cut off your breathing). To find out if you have a sperm allergy, an allergist may run a skin test with your partner’s semen or sperm to see if there is a reaction (yes, really). Women who aren’t trying to conceive can prevent a reaction by having their partner wear a condom, but if you are trying to get pregnant, you may need to consider using  intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization to help you conceive.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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