This Is What It’s Like To Be Allergic To Semen


I thought having a gluten allergy was bad, but it’s nothing compared to the allergy Laura, 29, and about 100 other women since 1958 have suffered from.

Forget carbs, how awful would it be to be allergic to dick? The answer is pretty awful, according to this tell-all interview Laura gave to Broadly. Laura was diagnosed with this rare allergy two years ago, after a string of uncomfortable sexual encounters.

“It sounds crazy, but I didn’t figure any of this out until I was 27. At 17, I naively assumed that the stinging, itching, and swelling I’d experienced with my first partner was… normal,” Laura tells Broadly. “I was far more concerned that the pill was turning me into a fat, acne-ridden, hormonal werewolf.”

It’s understandable. Your first time is painful, weird, awkward, and you honestly don’t know what to expect because your shitty health class spend two days on sex health as a whole and only talked about diseases and childbirth. They didn’t teach you that in order to have pleasurable sex, you needed to be, well, wet. The wetter the better. While I’m sure not everyone had the same experience as Laura, I think we can all agree we just assumed some uncomfortableness and pain came with the territory of losing your V card.

Laura’s condition seriously impacted some of her relationships.

“I was 25 before I met my first serious boyfriend. We endured an uncomfortable two-year stand off, where he didn’t want to use condoms and I didn’t want to lose my mind or have my face turn into a festering pool of pus. We settled on the pull-out method—which, by the way, is AS reliable as condoms, though no one tells you that… I noticed that if I didn’t dash off to clean myself up after sex that within 5 minutes my skin looked like a demented toddler had been at me with a red Crayola. I assumed an STI, which left all kinds of questions hanging over our relationship. We were both checked, and nothing. Stalemate.”

Look at this asshole. He’d rather turn his girlfriend into a “festering pool of pus” rather than put a fucking condom on his dick. Listen buddy, I’m sure it doesn’t “feel” as good, but you know what feels worse? Having an allergic reaction to your funky spunk. I’m sure if it was the other way around and your average piece of meat turned into a “festering pool of pus,” you wouldn’t be such a little bitch about having to wear a condom.

Aside from this one jerk boyfriend, Laura also had to deal with incompetent doctors thinking she was just another sex-crazed slut with an STD. She diagnosed herself at 27 with the rare condition after hours upon hours of Googling. It’s called human seminal fluid hypersensitivity.

“My GP did his best to keep the smirk off his face, gently pressing STI leaflets into my hand. I shoved a peer reviewed medical paper back into his, and eventually got a referral. And an apology.”

You go, Laura. Although rare, semen allergies work the same way any allergy works. Sufferers react to a specific protein within the semen, resulting in “vaginal redness, itching, burning sensation and sometimes pain.”

Like other allergies, there’s no real cure. Laura will be allergic to dick for life. Antihistamines can sometimes tame reactions, but long term treatment options are bleak. Allergy expert Dr Rob Hicks says the only long term options are “abstinence, condom use, or desensitization.”

“‘Desensitization’ actually means persevering through the pain to build up a tolerance over time,” notes Laura. “But the tolerance is per person. I could build it up with one guy, only to have to go through it again if we break up.”

That. Fucking. Sucks. There’s no way around it. Just when you think you’ve gotten comfortable with one dick, after enduring multiple painful allergic reactions for that one dick, if the relationship ends it was all for nothing. As one can probably guess, this makes dating hard.

Forget dating, what about getting pregnant? It’s been awhile, but I’m pretty sure semen is a pretty important part of that equation.

“It is possible to become pregnant with a semen allergy and women should be reassured it doesn’t cause infertility,” Dr Hicks says. “Seek the advice of their doctor who may suggest intrauterine insemination or IVF using sperm that have been washed to remove the allergy triggering semen proteins.”

Despite her awkward, painful allergy, Laura still sees some positives to her unique situation.

“Whilst I’m not seeing anyone it’s just an interesting fact about me that I might tell in a dull game true or false,” said Laura.

The only benefit to having this otherwise horrible condition is that you have a really cool fun fact to tell at parties? God, that is sad.

My cedar allergy isn’t looking so bad after this.

[via Broadly]

Image via Shutterstock

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Cristina Montemayor

Cristina is a Grandex Writer and Content Manager. She was an intern for over two years before she graduated a semester early to write about college full time, which makes absolutely no sense. She regretfully considers herself a Carrie, but is first and foremost a Rory. She tends to draw strong reactions from people. They are occasionally positive. You can find her in a bar as you're bending down to tie your shoes, drinking Dos XX and drunk crying to Elton John. Email her: (not .com).

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