This embarrassing problem is ruining couples’ sex lives and it’s more common than you think – with 12% of the population suffering with it.
Mild symptoms can include irritation, itching, pain when you pee and eczema ‘down there’.
But in the more serious cases the allergic reaction can actually be fatal.
An expert in reproductive science has claimed that women aged between 20 and 30 are thought to be the worst affected – displaying symptoms such as anaphylactic shock just one hour after exposure.
Dr Michael Carroll, a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, thinks the allergy could be more common than expected as many are shy to visit their doctor about it.
Marie Cuthbertson, 50, sought help for irritating symptoms after sex with her husband during her thirties.
Doctors would imply her husband Mark, 49, could have been unfaithful and she was often prescribed antibiotics to treat a sexually transmitted disease.
“All the doctors dismissed out of hand my suggestion that I was suffering a physical reaction to sex,” said Marie.
“They said such things did not happen and implied my partner could have been unfaithful – which was insulting to both of us.”
In an effort to enjoy their sex life the couple, tried to make a joke of their situation.
But her vaginal pain continued to get worse.
“The inflammation and discharge only flare up in the hours afterwards. I was sure the problem was not an infection,” she said.
After 10 years of suffering, Marie was finally transferred to a hospital genitourinary clinic, where the doctor said she could be allergic to semen and that condoms were the only solution.
“The doctor was fantastic. I told him I believed I was allergic to sex. He said that he had read clinical reports saying this definitely does happen,” said Marie.
“We didn’t want to be using condoms, but the solution did work.”
The cause of the problem is still unknown but family history can be a factor. And it’s not only women who can suffer with the allergy.
In some rare cases, men can be allergic to their own semen. Symptoms include a flu-like illness, with pain, redness and discomfort affecting the head, eyes, nose, throat and muscles, extreme fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
Dutch researchers identified 45 men with the problem in The Journal Of Sexual Medicine, published four years ago.
Source: Daily Star