Published April 11, 2013
It’s called the honeymoon phase – those first few years after newlyweds get married when they went to spend every second together.
While this time should be a time for passion and intimacy, one couple had the complete opposite experience when they realized the bride was allergic to her new husband’s sperm, Opposing Views reported.
Clara and Jeff, both 35, had waited until their wedding to have sex for the first time – in order to make the moment even more special. But when they had their first intimate encounter, something very strange occurred.
"I had this bizarre reaction," said Clara, whose name was changed to protect her privacy. "I had burning and swelling and redness, which was very unusual. I thought I had contracted an STD."
She scheduled numerous gynecologist visits and researched for several hours online to figure out what was happening. Finally, one of Clara’s doctors told her she was suffering from seminal plasma hypersensitivity – an allergic reaction to the protein in Jeff’s semen.
Affecting between 20,000 and 40,000 women in the United States, seminal plasma hypersensitivity does not affect fertility, but it makes having sex very uncomfortable – during and after intercourse. Some women break out into hives and blisters, experience severe abdominal pain, and even have difficulty breathing.
For Jeff and Clara, the condition initially made newlywed life much more difficult.
"It was a real problem," Jeff said, "because everything else was great. We were madly in love, but it was a real game-changer for a while. It pretty much dramatically reduced our libido. We really haven't had much sex at all for the last 10 months.”
Fortunately for Clara and other women with this allergy, the condition is easily treatable. Doctors simply isolate proteins in the sperm and then conduct skin test on the woman to determine which proteins are causing her allergic reactions. After they’ve identified the troubling protein, they slowly desensitize the woman to it.
Clara recently had the treatment done, and she said her condition has greatly improved.
"There was a small amount of swelling, but compared to previous times, it was much less," she said. “Now I am interested in having sex again."