A person looking up symptoms of sperm allergy on their laptop.

Could you have a sperm allergy?

Although extremely rare, some women can have allergic reactions to the proteins found in their partner’s semen.

What a sperm allergy might look like

Sometimes symptoms for sperm allergy may look like other conditions.


Semen allergy is exhibited by redness, burning, and swelling where semen contacts the skin. Fewer women experience a systemic response, including hives, itching, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. If you develop a rash after sex, this does not necessarily indicate a semen allergy — irritation can be caused by vaginal infections or other allergies.


Semen allergies do not inhibit fertility, but can make the process of conception more difficult. Treatment such as antihistamines can help those with semen allergies conceive naturally. If your sensitivity is severe, intrauterine insemination using sperm washed free of semen or in vitro fertilization can facilitate with pregnancy. If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of semen allergy, you should talk to your healthcare provider about allergy testing.

Read more
  • Shannon K. Laughlin-Tommaso, M.D. “Semen allergy: A cause of infertility?” MayoClinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Jan 16 2015. Web.
  • “What is a sperm allergy?” ISSM. International Society for Sexual Medicine, Jan 2014. Web.

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