What problems can it cause?
Experts haven't seen any fatality, although it's certainly possible for a woman with a severe allergic reaction. However, this allergy can be very disruptive to interpersonal relationships. “I have seen people who have gone on to find different partners because the allergy was unique to the individual that they were with,” says Bernstein.
How is this allergy diagnosed and treated?
Condoms are obviously the best in terms of avoidance. The couple should don them before they start having intercourse, since there's usually semen leakage during the act. If condom use isn't helpful, then you have to be concerned about whether semen allergy is really the right diagnosis.
“At the University of Cincinnati, we treat semen allergy by desensitizing women to their sexual partner's semen with injections similar to regular allergy shots,” says Bernstein. “We've had over 95 percent success with this treatment, but it's a laborious and costly process and it's hard to get insurance to cover it.”
Also treatments used to treat seasonal allergies, such cromolyn sodium and oral antihistamines, have not been helpful, either.
What advice would have for a couple with this problem?
First of all, it's important to make sure that women don't have any other kind of underlying problems or issues. The man should stay hydrated before and during intercourse because dehydration can cause a concentration of semen and more acidity. If there is a problem, the couple should try using condoms and see if that prevents the symptoms from occurring. “If all those things have been done and they still have a problem,” says Bernstein, “then I think that the couple needs to contact a board-certified allergist who might be able to help them at least get started.”