Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about seminal plasma allergy.  If you have a question not listed below, please feel free to contact us.

Questions:
1) What is seminal plasma anaphylaxis?
2) What is the cause of seminal fluid anaphylaxis?
3) What is localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
4) What causes localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
5) Can systemic and localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity occur together?
6) How common is seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
7) Are there risk factors for developing seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
8) Can I have seminal plasma hypersensitivity if I have symptoms after first time contact with seminal fluid?
9) How do I know if I have seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
10) What is a good way for me to know if seminal plasma proteins could be causing my symptoms?
11) How is seminal plasma hypersensitivity treated?
12) If I have seminal plasma hypersensitivity can I get pregnant?
13) After treatment, what is the prognosis?




1) What is seminal plasma anaphylaxis?
This is a condition where an individual experiences some or all of the following symptoms immediately (up to 60 minutes) after direct contact with seminal fluid: hives, soft tissue swelling (angioedema), chest tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, diarrhea, dizziness and/or loss of consciousness.
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2) What is the cause of seminal fluid anaphylaxis?
Seminal fluid anaphylaxis is the result of IgE-mediated sensitization (i.e., development of allergic antibody) to one or more seminal plasma proteins. Studies have demonstrated that prostate specific antigen (PSA) may be the relevant sensitizing protein in individuals with this disorder.
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3) What is localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
Localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity is characterized by localized vaginal pain and burning that occurs immediately after contact with seminal fluid. The pain is very severe and can last hours to days. Studies have demonstrated that prostate specific antigen (PSA) may be the relevant sensitizing protein in individuals with this disorder.
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4) What causes localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
It is likely due to IgE mediated sensitization (i.e., development of allergic antibody) to one or more seminal plasma proteins similar to systemic anaphylaxis. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) has been demonstrated to be one of the seminal plasma proteins.
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5) Can systemic and localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity occur together?
Yes; however usually they occur separately.
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6) How common is seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
The prevalence is unknown, however, in a population of women with suspected seminal plasma hypersensitivity the approximate prevalence was 13%. Based on unpublished data, it is estimated that 20 - 40,000 women in the united states have this condition.
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7) Are there risk factors for developing seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
History of atopic disease is the most consistent risk factor for patients who have anaphylaxis to seminal plasma; this is not the case for localized reactions. However, anecdotal case reports have suggested these reactions may occur after gynecologic surgery, injection of anti-Rh immunoglobulin in Rh- women or after delivery of a child. It is also possible women develop cross reaction antibodies to other sensitizing allergens (ie. dog or dust mite allergen)
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8) Can I have seminal plasma hypersensitivity if I have symptoms after first time contact with seminal fluid?
Yes; In fact this is a common presentation for many women suggesting there might be cross reactivity between seminal plasma proteins and other common allergens.
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9) How do I know if I have seminal plasma hypersensitivity?
Either skin prick testing and/or serum-specific IgE antibodies using proper reagents obtained from seminal fluid in conjunction with the proper clinical history confirms the diagnosis of this condition.
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10) What is a good way for me to know if seminal plasma proteins could be causing my symptoms?
If prevention of reactions to seminal fluid is accomplished by barrier use of condoms, then it probable you have seminal plasma hypersensitivity.
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11) How is seminal plasma hypersensitivity treated?
Immunotherapy to properly fractionated seminal fluid proteins processed from whole seminal fluid obtained from your sexual partner has been universally successful in preventing anaphylaxis and/or localized symptoms to seminal fluid. Successful vaginal graded challenge with whole seminal fluid has been reported in a few cases but the level and duration of protection is often incomplete. Medications such as antihistamines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and intravaginal cromolyn sodium may work in select cases but overall the response to these medications is poor.
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12) If I have seminal plasma hypersensitivity can I get pregnant?
Localized and/or systemic seminal plasma hypersensitivity is not associated with infertility. The primary difficulty with this condition is being able to have unprotected intercourse, which is necessary to conceive.
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13) After treatment, what is the prognosis?
Overall the response to treatment and long-term prognosis is very good. Patients are able to have unprotected intercourse with minimal to no symptoms. The effect is long lasting as long as the woman has continued contact with seminal fluid two to three times a week.
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