Allergies can be a pain in the butt, especially if they are sexually-related. Luckily, women with this condition are finding that there are ways to overcome it without resorting to abstinence.
Allergies are caused by an immune system that goes crazy and attacks substances it shouldn’t. Symptoms can include heavy breathing, a fast heartbeat and sweating – all things that often happen during sex.
If you are allergic to sperm, the condition is called semen allergy, or human seminal plasma hypersensitivity (HSP). This is because a person’s immune system reacts to the proteins in the fluid that carries sperm. The reaction can be localized or it can affect the entire body. In a few cases, the symptoms can be life-threatening. Symptoms of semen allergy may include a rash, itching, swelling or difficulty breathing. The symptoms usually appear within minutes of exposure to the allergen.
While a semen allergy is rare, it can affect both men and women. The symptoms are usually localized in the areas that come into contact with sperm, such as the vagina and skin around it. The allergy can also cause problems with ovulation or fertility.
The first step in diagnosing a semen allergy is to visit your doctor. Be sure to explain all of your symptoms, including when they occur. You can also ask your doctor to run a skin prick test with diluted semen or sperm to see if you have a reaction.
If you have a localized reaction to semen, oral antihistamines can help prevent symptoms. However, these medications can interfere with fertility treatments, so they should not be used by couples trying to conceive. If you have a systemic reaction to semen, your doctor may recommend an epinephrine auto-injector, which can treat a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
It’s not common to be allergic to condoms, but it does happen. A latex allergy is triggered by the material that most condoms, including those put on the penis and the ones inserted into the vagina, are made of. People who are allergic to latex can experience a wide range of symptoms, including a fast heartbeat, sweating and flushed or itchy skin. These symptoms are often mistaken for the natural reactions that happen during sex, but they should be treated seriously.
The exact cause of a latex allergy is not known, but repeated exposure to rubber and latex products may be a factor. The allergy can also be caused by a genetic predisposition. Some people are more likely to develop a latex allergy, including some healthcare workers. A small number of people with a severe latex allergy may experience a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
People who are allergic to latex can get a blood test to see if they have IgE antibodies against the substance. Once they know they’re allergic, they should avoid latex altogether and use alternative methods of birth control. SKYN non-latex condoms and polyurethane lubricants are an excellent alternative. These products can prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Those who are allergic to latex should always carry a medical alert bracelet or necklace that says they’re allergic to the material.
When people think of perfume allergies, they usually envision reactions like sneezing or watery eyes. However, perfume allergy is a much more serious condition than just being sensitive to the smell of perfume. This allergy occurs when the body’s immune system is oversensitive to chemicals and ingredients in fragrances. It can cause a variety of symptoms, from skin irritation to respiratory issues.
Perfume allergies are partly caused by the more than 2,500 chemicals in the average perfume or cologne. Many of these chemicals are unlisted, thanks to laws around “trade secrets.” In addition to perfumes and colognes, fragrances can also be found in soaps, shampoos, lotions, and other personal care products.
Symptoms of perfume allergy include itching, redness, a rash, and other skin irritations. Those with severe allergic reactions may experience itching, sneezing, and runny nose.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the effects of perfume allergy and sensitivity. Some of these include staying hydrated, wearing loose-fitting clothes, and using air purifiers. You can also use over-the-counter antihistamines to treat itching and runny nose. You can also get allergy shots to help your body build immunity to fragrance allergens. It’s important to always carry a medical alert bracelet or necklace, so health care providers and emergency responders can quickly identify your allergies or sensitivity. Also, make sure everyone around you knows about your allergies and sensitivities, so they can avoid spraying or wearing perfume around you.
A hormone allergy is when the immune system over reacts to certain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, which are produced by the body. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate many different bodily functions, including growth and development, metabolism, and reproduction. The body mistakes some of these hormones as harmful substances and produces antibodies to attack them, which can cause an allergic reaction.
The symptoms of a hormone allergy can include itching, sneezing, watery eyes and a runny or stuffy nose. These symptoms can be particularly pronounced during a person’s menstrual cycle, making them very uncomfortable. A hormone allergy can also affect a person’s ability to smell, which can have an impact on their sexual desire.
Allergies don’t usually stop people from having sex, but they can put a damper on romantic activity. Those with allergies may choose to stay home when their nasal allergies flare, or they may avoid sex altogether. This is because sneezing and itching can leave a person feeling unattractive.
However, the good news is that allergies can be treated with antihistamines and other medications. People can also be gradually de-sensitized to allergens by exposure over time, which is an option that could help them get back into the bedroom and rekindle their passion for lovemaking. Over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl, Claritin and Zyrtec can help reduce hay fever symptoms, but there are prescription medications available as well.