Yes, ladies — some vaginas are so sensitive that they even get irritated by semen! Don’t believe me? Think of it this way — your vagina is acidic by nature while semen is alkaline. When a sensitive vagina comes into contact with semen, it overworks to cleanse itself and maintain its normal pH. It also happens in the case when you are allergic to some proteins found in the semen. When this happens, the vagina may experience redness, burning, pain, swelling, itching, or hives. Some times and in many cases, semen allergy is mistaken for other health problems such as STIs, UTIs or yeast infections. It’s for this reason that semen allergies are under-diagnosed.
To know if you really have a semen allergy or just another infection, it’s important to monitor how your vagina reacts after having sex. Generally, semen allergy symptoms appear quickly, usually within half an hour of exposure, anything beyond that may be something else. Also, once you develop a semen allergy, it’s not just in your vagina. The burning and itching can occur on any place where the semen touches your skin, including in your mouth! In some unexplainable cases, some people can be allergic to one partner’s semen but not to another partner’s.
There are no similarities when it comes to how different women develop semen allergies. Some notice it the first time they have sex while others develop it later in life. Additionally, like other allergies, this type of allergy may fade off or disappear naturally over time.
Is Semen Allergy Treatable?
If you are reading this and thinking that you may be doomed, you’re not! There is a solution to this seemingly out of this world condition. The easiest way to deal with this problem is to simply use condoms when having sex. However, some people will treat the allergy through desensitization (in which you’re slowly exposed to semen to build up a tolerance, either with a diluted solution in a medical setting or by having sex without condoms once or twice a week).
Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine before sex may also help reduce symptoms. And if you have a semen allergy and want to conceive, your doctor may suggest in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
If you think you might have a semen allergy, it’s best to see your gynaecologist so that you get a diagnosis who may then offer the best solution.