BACKGROUND: Human seminal plasma hypersensitivity is a rare disorder that is often misdiagnosed. While this disorder is well described in the allergy and immunology literature, few cases exist in the gynecologic literature.
CASE: A young woman presented to our allergy clinic with recurrent vaginal burning, swelling, and itching occurring approximately 10 minutes postcoitally. Semen allergy was suspected. Using her partner's semen, intradermal testing produced 1.6-cm wheal and 6.0-cm flare. The patient underwent intravaginal desensitization, and she and her partner were instructed to have intercourse every 48 hours to maintain desensitization. At 5-month follow-up, they were practicing coitus interruptus with success.
CONCLUSION: Human seminal plasma hypersensitivity may mimic chronic vaginitis. The intravaginal graded challenge, a form of immunotherapy used by allergists, remains a mainstay in treatment, but is only effective if maintained correctly.
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