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Semen allergy: A cause of infertility?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 19, 2022.

Semen allergy, also called seminal plasma hypersensitivity, happens when you have a harmful immune system reaction to proteins in semen. This condition is not common. Semen allergy isn't a direct cause of infertility.

Symptoms of semen allergy include a change in skin color, burning and swelling where semen contacts the skin or vaginal tissues. Some people may have a whole-body response, including hives, itching and difficulty breathing.

If you have any of these symptoms, see your health care provider. Your provider may do skin testing to see if you have a semen allergy.

Treatment to make you less sensitive to your partner's semen may allow you to get pregnant naturally. Another option is intrauterine insemination (IUI), which uses sperm washed free of semen proteins to prevent a reaction. For those with a severe sensitivity to semen, assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), may be an option for pregnancy.

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