Allergy to semen may affect 12 percent of women, symptoms similar to STDs

As weird as it may sound, Dr. Michael Carroll, lecturer of Reproductive Science at the Manchester Metropolitan University, claims that nearly 12 percent women may be suffering from an allergy to semen.

This allergy, if worsened, could show up symptoms as worse as anaphylactic shock, and other much common symptoms which include painful urination, itching, irritation, eczema and more, which are often misdiagnosed as STDs, he claims.

According to Michael, women between the ages of 20-30 are at a much greater risk of getting impacted by this allergy, and the symptoms may turn up immediately or within an hour of exposure to the semen. In some cases, semen exposure may also cause potentially life-threatening situation, he believes.

An unpublished survey, carried out by Dr. Carroll and his colleagues, shows that around 12 in every 100 women may have an allergy to semen.

Following this, Dr. Carroll with his colleagues at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester, carried out a diagnosis of four women, based on their allergy skin prick tests and their clinical history. He made use of seminal fluid and isolated sperm cells in the allergy prick test for these women, which managed to spur an immune response in exposure to the seminal fluid.

No immune response took place in exposure to isolated sperms, he noted.

Based on these findings, Dr. Carroll revealed how exposure to seminal fluid (semen) may cause allergic reactions in some women. "In addition to the reaction and physical discomfort, women with HHS (hypersensitivity to human semen) experience emotional stress due to the impact it can have on their relationships and the concerns about family planning," he put down in his paper, published in the journal Fertility.

Dr. Carroll further emphasizes that this sensitivity to semen tends to get misdiagnosed often, owing to the similarity of its symptoms with those of some STDs.

Also, it is speculated that the component of the semen that could be responsible for causing this allergic reaction may be glycoprotein. This may imply that women allergic to one person's semen will be allergic to another's too, and changing partners may not solve the issue.

"There are numerous cases published of successful pregnancies achieved naturally and through assisted reproductive technology in women with this condition. We were able to reassure our patients that HHS does not cause infertility," Dr Carroll added.

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