Among one of the women's immunological problems we can find an allergy to partner's sperm. In short, it is an immune system overreaction that can create over 400 types of antibodies. Why does body respond to sperm in such a way? We can blame genetics, prior infections as well as unhealthy lifestyle. These affect the activity of the central nervous & hormonal systems and overall immunity of our body.
Sperm is actually naturally strange to a female body. It contains only half the number of chromosomes; hence the body does not always recognize it as desirable. An allergic response is caused by so-called macrophages – cells that are ready to immediately eliminate any unexpected visitor. Taking into account that 500 million sperm cells get into the woman's body, it is no surprise that one contact with a partner is enough for the sensitive organism to build up a major amount of antibodies. And more sexual intercourses with the same partner occur, greater the defense. Moreover, the antibodies begin to appear in other parts of the body, such as blood, uterus, or ovaries.
Despite what many people think, it is not true that the allergy to sperm has to be associated with one particular partner. On the other hand, there are cases when, after a breakup, the couple establishes a family with their new partners.
If the response is associated with particular sperm and the couple wants to conceive a child, "condoms therapy" is one possible solution. The protection is used for some time to avoid the contact of sperm with woman's body in order to decrease the amount of developed antibodes. This is a long-term treatment method lasting between six to twelve months. But it is worth the wait. On average, the amount of antibodies falls by 50 %. The downside is that even after the treatment the defense system recovers quickly. Therefore, the method is often combined with assisted reproduction.
Men also sometimes produce antibodies against their own sperm. In testicles, sperm has to get through an immunological barrier triggering a production of antibodies. They then travel into the seminal fluid and attack sperm. In this case, corticosteroids are used to stop the production of antibodies.
- Treatment of allergy is very difficult as the body quickly restores its antibodies
- Combination with other types of therapy - in vitro fertilization - is often used Bigger the number of intercourses, greater the defense
- It is not true that allergy to sperm is associated only with one specific man