5 sex-related allergies and what to do about them
Allergies are a mistake that our immune system makes over and over again. Normally designed to fight off harmful bacteria, fungi, virus and other pathogens, sometimes, the immune system takes offence to otherwise harmless things like dust, pollen, shellfish, peanuts and a hoard of other things - and triggers a set of reactions to fight them off. This reaction develops into an allergy the next time we come in contact with the offensive object.
Often, the best treatment option is to avoid the thing you’re allergic to. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible for everybody.
Consider the case of sex-based allergies.
Yep, from regular condoms to semen, people can be in agony because of a range of things that should ordinarily give pleasure. Like with any other allergy, some people can have minor sniffles and others can go into anaphylactic shock! Here’s a look at some allergies related to sex and signs you should look out for:
1. Post-orgasmic illness syndrome
Instead of being pleasurable and euphoric, orgasm for some people is painful and itchy! Post-orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is an autoimmune disease. People living with this syndrome may experience a rapid onset of flu-like symptoms, such as feverishness, extreme fatigue, itchiness and burning eyes, immediately after orgasm. These symptoms may be followed by more cognitive disturbances such as difficulty concentrating and being particularly irritated.
There's no permanent fix for this syndrome. Usually, the symptoms persist for three to seven days and then subside on their own.
2. Latex allergy
An estimated 6% of the general population has a latex allergy, and most of them don’t even realise it. Latex allergy can have symptoms ranging from hives (swollen, pale bumps on the skin), to itching and stuffy or runny nose.
If you’ve been chalking up discomfort and itchiness after sex to the experience of sex itself or to a urinary tract infection, try this: use a silicone condom or natural condom for a week or two. If the symptoms subside, you’ll know.
3. Lube allergy
Lubricants can ease pain and increase sexual pleasure, but in people who are allergic to them, they can cause itchiness, a burning sensation, hives or even anaphylactic shock. If you often experience any of these symptoms after using a lubricant, try a different type. There are basically three types of lubes available in the market: oil-based, water-based and silicone-based.
You can also try to increase the time you spend on foreplay to give the body more time to lubricate naturally. If this makes the symptoms go away, you’ll know.
If you have sensitive skin, be sure to look for the lube that has the least amount of or no chemicals in it.
4. Semen allergy
Seminal plasma hypersensitivity is an allergy to one of the proteins (prostate-specific antigen) in semen. If you have this allergy, you may experience redness, a burning sensation, hives, itching or swelling on any part of the body that comes in contact with the semen. In some cases, people can have a severe reaction and go into anaphylactic shock.
Symptoms for women are usually seen on the vulva or inside the vaginal canal whereas for men it usually occurs on the shaft or the area of skin above the genitals.
5. Food allergies
If your partner has a food allergy, try not to eat those foods yourself. Studies have shown that exposure to the allergen through the semen can also cause severe allergic reactions.
The fix? Speaking at the Food Allergy Blogger Conference 2017, Dr Dave Stukus explained that if your partner has eaten something you are allergic to - like peanuts or sesame - you must wait 3 hours and then ask them to eat something else (allergen-free this) before you even kiss.
Finally, you might want to rinse your mouth thoroughly before going down on your partner, as the hot chilli sauce you had up to three hours ago might still give them burns!
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our in-depth article on Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, Management.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Dec 05, 2019 16:23:09 IST
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