Sexual intercourse can give you rashes: Here’s your arsenal against sex allergy

Is your sex life suffering due to itching and rashes? Are you worried about your sexual health? Don’t hit the panic button yet.  It could just be a sex allergy. And, yes, we agree that such allergies can make life hell for you.

A sex allergy is the last thing one wants to get while having sex. But, it can happen and there is nothing you can do about it. The best thing for you is to know how to recognize the signs of allergy, know what caused it and take immediate precautions. This will ensure sexual satisfaction and enjoyment in the long run for you. Heavy breathing, a fast heartbeat and sweating can be allergic reactions, but you exhibit these anyway after sex. So, instead, watch out for hives, itching, runny nose, rashes, vaginal burning, swelling and blistering in the genital area and, in severe cases vomiting, diarrhoea and even loss of consciousness.

Here are a few of the allergic reactions that you may suffer during sex. Read on to know how to deal with it.

Seminal fluid allergy

Men ejaculate semen during sex.  It can cause sex allergy. Seminal fluid allergy or semen allergy is rare. These allergies are actually caused not by the semen itself but by proteins present in it. A woman might be allergic to only one man’s semen or she may be allergic to multiple men’s semen.

At times, a man might consume a protein that a woman is sensitive to and he may transmit it to the woman during sex. This can cause an allergic reaction in her body. Some of these proteins are present in some medicines including NSAIDs and antibiotics. Another reason could be the presence of certain glycoproteins in the seminal plasma.

The general signs of seminal fluid allergy are itching in the localized vaginal area and a burning sensation within half an hour of vaginal sex. But in more severe cases, the allergic reactions can include urticaria or angioedema, asthma and anaphylaxis. More symptoms of this condition include swelling of the tissues that have come in contact with the semen, which can even result in an outbreak of hives in the area.

To make a diagnosis, a doctor can test the skin of the woman with a sample of her partner’s semen.

Combat plan: One of the ways of treating this condition is for the affected woman to avoid contact with the semen she is allergic to by insisting that her partner wears a condom. But if pregnancy is desired, the woman can be desentisised with increasing concentrations of her partner’s seminal fluid, administered intravaginally. Regular sex, without a condom, can also help in preventing this sex allergy.

Latex allergy

Latex is a kind of rubber that is used in condoms and, sometimes, also in sex toys. Allergy from this is one of the most common sexual allergies and also one of the most dangerous. This is because latex allergy worsens with extended exposure to it and can happen to people regardless of whether they are men or women.

The general symptoms include localised itching, burning and rashes. If the allergy is severe, you may experience urticaria or angioedema, asthma symptoms and anaphylaxis . The symptoms of this sex allergy can typically be seen within minutes or even seconds of latex exposure. This is unlike contact dermatitis, where symptoms like itchy and blistering skin only on the area of exposure, may take hours to manifest.

Combat plan: The diagnosis process may include blood and skin tests to see if the person has IgE antibody against latex. You must avoid all contact with latex. Instead switch to safer alternatives. Condoms made of lamb intestines are now a widely available substitute that can help in birth control. However, you must remember that these do not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS)

Post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) or post-ejaculatory illness syndrome is an extremely rare condition, which causes an allergic reaction immediately after ejaculation. Though its cause and prevalence are still not completely clear, reams of research have pointed out that the presence of some proteins in the semen can be the cause. But these are not the same protein that cause seminal fluid allergy. Symptoms include flu-like issues such as feeling weak, feverish, tired and irritable. Other symptoms of this sex allergy include hives, swelling, chest tightness, wheezing, dizziness, diarrhea and loss of consciousness. Men suffer more from this because they can exhibit symptoms just by ejaculating. But it affects women also.

Combat plan: There is no standard treatment line as information about the condition is still very limited. Treatment options for women is not there. In men, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs), a class of drugs that are typically used as antidepressants in the treatment of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders, antihistamines and benzodiazepines may work. Many people suffering from this condition may have to limit or abstain from all sexual activities.

Gustatory rhinitis

Only sexual intercourse does not cause this allergy. Gustatory rhinitis comes under the umbrella of ​non-allergic rhinitis. It includes symptoms like nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing. The reason for this can be the stimulation of the parasympathetic nerves or the dilating of the blood vessels in the nasal passage.

Combat plan: The use of nasal ipratropium bromide sprays at least an hour before sexual intercourse can help in treating this condition.

Lubes

Lubricants contain a number of ingredients and a few of them can cause allergic reactions. Substances like benzocaine, lidocaine, L-Arginine, nitrousamines or nonoxyl-9 are a few examples of lubes that can irritate the genital area. Presence of glycerin in the lube can be another reason behind allergic reactions as it can act on the sugar in your body to further cause yeast infection. Symptoms of allergy from lube include itching, burning, swelling and rashes.

Combat plan: You can stop using the lubricant to see if you are allergic to it or not. Check out other lubes with different ingredients. You might find something that is safe for you. Alternatively, you may also turn to natural alternatives like coconut oil.

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