IgE antibodies to seminal fluid have also been shown to be one factor involved in infertility (16).
Allergen ExposureSeminal plasma. The major allergens involved have been reported to be 20-30 kD glycoproteins present in the seminal plasma (7-8).
Potential Cross-ReactivityNo information available.
Clinical ExperienceLocal reactions may appear within minutes of coitus and develop into generalized urticaria, swelling, and anaphylaxis (1-6). The reactions are IgE-mediated and IgE antibodies to seminal plasma proteins can be detected in skin and in serum. IgE antibodies to seminal fluid have also been shown to be one factor involved in infertility (16).
Allergic reactions in women caused by sensitization to seminal plasma are a relatively rare but serious problem. Local reactions may appear within minutes of coitus and develop into generalized urticaria, swelling , and anaphylaxis (1-6). The reactions are IgE-mediated and IgE antibodies to seminal plasma proteins can be detected in skin and in serum.
The major allergens involved have been reported to be 20-30 kD glycoproteins present in the seminal plasma (7-8).
Localized vaginal allergic responses without systemic reactions have also been observed. Clinical and immunological findings indicated that cell-mediated immunity to seminal fluid antigens may be causing the inflammatory reaction (9).
Local reactions may also involve recurrent Candida infections as a secondary phenomenon to an IgE-mediated vaginal response (10), or be induced by an allergic reaction initiated by sexually transmitted IgE antibodies from the male (11).
The use of a condom during intercourse effectively eliminates exposure to seminal plasma and is a major consideration treating the disease (12, 13), although concurrent sensitivity to seminal fluid and latex has been observed (14). Local and cutaneous reactions have been treated with intravaginal cromolyn (15).
IgE antibodies to seminal fluid have also been shown to be one factor involved in infertility (16). Infertility as a consequence of avoidance is often an undesired complication and several immunotherapy protocols have therefore been designed to treat the disease and allow induction of pregnancy. Injection therapy with allergenic fractions of human seminal plasma was shown to be effective with a dramatic decrease of IgE antibody concentration as well as of clinical symptoms (17-19). Local intravaginal rush desensitization followed by frequent unprotected intercourse seems to be as effective and has been reported to induce successful pregnancy (20-22). Pregnancy has also been induced in women with seminal plasma allergy by artificial insemination with washed spermatozoa, devoid of the allergenic seminal plasma proteins (23-24).
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- Ludman BG. Human seminal plasma protein allergy: a diagnosis rarely considered. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs 1999;28(4):359-63.
- Prandini M, Marchesi S. Allergy to human seminal fluid: a case of self-diagnosis. Allergy 1999;54(5):530.
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- Iwahashi K, Miyazaki T, Kuji N, Yoshimura Y. Successful pregnancy in a woman with a human seminal plasma allergy. A case report. J Reprod Med 1999;44(4):391-3.