Problem: Allergic reactions to human seminal plasma protein has become increasingly recognized in the medical community. Treatment for most allergic conditions usually begins with avoidance of the offending allergen. For women with seminal plasma protein hypersensitivity (SPH) who desire to conceive, this approach is unacceptable. We describe a case report of a woman with an SPH who desired to have unprotected intercourse in order to conceive.
Methods: The patient underwent skin prick testing to her fiancé's fresh undiluted semen. Serum-specific IgG and IgE was performed by ELISA to the fiancé's whole seminal plasma and seminal plasma proteins (SPP). The patient underwent an intravaginal graded challenge to whole seminal fluid. Intrauterine insemination with washed spermatozoa was attempted but in vitro fertilization was subsequently required.
Results: The patient had a positive prick test to whole seminal plasma but negative specific IgG and IgE ELISA to SPPs. An intravaginal graded challenge to whole seminal plasma was well tolerated. However, she experienced a subsequent severe local reaction after unprotected intercourse. She deferred treatment with systemic desensitization to relevant SPPs. She failed intrauterine insemination but successfully conceived with in vitro fertilization.
Conclusion: This case report emphasizes that SPH is not associated with sterility. It also indicates that whole seminal plasma graded challenge is not uniformly successful for the treatment of SPH.