Thursday, December 20, 2012

Itchy after Sex?

Earlier this week a young woman in my practice complained of discomfort, vaginal itch/burning with intercourse.  Symptoms started immediately with intercourse and lasted for a few hours.  Using latex condoms didn't help alleviate symptoms. And she was worried- the discomfort she experienced was putting strain on her relationship with her partner and she suspected something was wrong.  She'd tried talking to her gynecologist, but was frequently diagnosed with "yeast" infections despite not having symptoms.

What could be going on?  We suspected seminal fluid allergy.  What should you know about seminal fluid allergy?

What is seminal fluid allergy?
  • Allergy to a protein in the seminal fluid
  • Symptoms include vaginal itching, blistering, redness, and even swelling within 30 minutes of contact with seminal fluid
  • Can be limited to one partner or all partners
  • Is not associated with infertility
  • Commonly presents in your 20's
  • Often is misdiagnosed as yeast infection or other infections.
How is seminal fluid allergy diagnosed?
  • Using latex or animal skin condoms to avoid contact with the fluid often prevents symptoms
  • An allergist may skin prick test with fresh seminal fluid or ask you to use condoms to prevent symptoms
What are your options for treatment?
  • Using condoms regularly to prevent symptoms
  • Your allergist may discuss desensitizing you to the seminal fluid through a graded introduction.  This is a good option if you are trying to get pregnant.

If you are worried you have seminal plasma fluid allergy, seek out an allergist for diagnosis and treatment.

My patient started using condoms regularly with good results   Her relationship with her partner has improved and she's not worried that something is "wrong" with her any longer.

Want to read more?  Here's a great website-  http://www.seminalplasmaallergy.org/