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Woman, 31, goes into anaphylactic shock after swallowing her partner’s SEMEN

Woman, 31, goes into anaphylactic shock after swallowing her partner’s SEMEN ‘because it contained penicillin’

  • The unidentified woman began to vomit and struggle to breathe after fellatio
  • The woman, from Spain, went to hospital with a suspected anaphylactic shock 
  • She revealed she had an allergy to penicillin but denied having taken the drug
  • Medics then discovered her 32-year-old partner had taken a form of penicillin
  • Doctors suspected her reaction was caused by ‘seminal transfer of amoxicillin’
  • Anyone with known drug allergies have now been urged to ‘be aware’ of the risk 



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A woman suffered a life-threatening allergic reaction to penicillin after performing oral sex on her partner.

The unidentified 31-year-old swallowed her lover’s semen and afterwards began to vomit, struggle to breathe and break out in hives.

The patient, from Alicante in Spain, went to hospital with suspected anaphylactic shock. It is unclear how long after her sexual encounter she sought help.

She revealed she had an allergy to penicillin but denied having taken the drug, or any unusual foods, before performing fellatio.

Doctors ruled out a rare semen allergy when the woman admitted she had never suffered any symptoms in her previous sexual encounters.

Medics then discovered her 32-year-old partner had taken amoxicillin-clavulanic acid – a form of penicillin – to treat an ear infection.

As a result, the doctors at Hospital General Universitari d’Alacant suspected her anaphylaxis was caused by ‘seminal transfer of amoxicillin’.

The unidentified 31-year-old, of Spain, swallowed her lover’s semen and afterwards began to vomit, struggle to breathe and break out in hives (stock)

The case, believed to be the first of its kind ever recorded, was published in the British Medical Journal Case Reports.

Susana Almenara, lead author of the report, has now urged anyone with known drug allergies to ‘be aware’ of the potential risk and ensure they use condoms.

She said: ‘We think that as clinicians it is important to be aware of this phenomenon so was to inform and prevent potentially serious reactions in sensitised patients.

‘We also recommend condom use during treatment with drugs that can induce hypersensitivity responses in partners.’



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Ms Almenara added: ‘This is the first case reported of a suspicion of amoxicillin-induced anaphylaxis in a woman after a sexual contact with a man who was taking the drug.’

She revealed there has been a ‘few reports’ of allergic reactions related to drugs being transferred through sexual intercourse.

Allergic reactions to amoxicillin, in particular, have occurred through kissing – but this is the first to show it could happen through oral sex.

The man, who also wasn’t identified, took the medication four hours before having any sexual contact with the woman.

HOW CAN YOU SUFFER AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO SEMEN?

Allergies to a protein in semen have been recorded in medical literature, causing typical symptoms to occur during or after sexual intercourse.

But allergic reactions can also be induced ‘by the transfer of allergens (drugs or food) present at low concentrations’ in semen.

Susana Almenara at Hospital General Universitari d’Alacant, Spain, said it was unlikely the woman in this case had an allergy to a protein in semen because she had never suffered a reaction after performing fellatio before.

Instead, it was more likely to be because of her known penicillin allergy. Her partner was taking a form of the drug to combat his ear infection.

Ms Almenara wrote in the British Medical Journal Case Reports admitted it is often difficult to find the causative agent of some allergic reactions.

But she said drugs, such as penicillin, are the most common cause of anaphylaxis in adults.

On the back of the study, she urged anyone with known drug allergies to ‘be aware’ of the potential risk and ensure they use condoms. 

The woman was given a dose of adrenaline, steroids and salbutamol to combat her reaction and open up her airways.

Her shortness of breath was completely resolved after six hours. She had fully recovered a week later.

Ms Almenara and colleagues asked her to return to hospital so she could be studied – but she did not attend a follow-up appointment.

Writing in the case report, she said allergies to a protein in semen have been recorded in rare cases, causing symptoms to occur during or after sexual intercourse.

But allergic reactions can also be induced ‘by the transfer of allergens (drugs or food) present at low concentrations’ in semen.

Ms Almenara said it was unlikely the woman had an allergy to protein in semen because she had never suffered a reaction after performing fellatio before.

She admitted it is often difficult to find the causative agent of some allergic reactions but said drugs are the most common cause of anaphylaxis in adults.

She added: ‘In cases of anaphylaxis, it is essential to make a correct and early diagnosis in order to initiate adequate treatment and to avoid fatalities.’

Ms Almenara quoted figures from another study that showed around one in 250 penicillin treatments result in an anaphylactic shock.

Writing in the journal, she added: ‘We have detected some concern about this issue in consultations carried out by sensitive patients in internet forums.

‘This concern on the part of patients is accompanied by a lack of scientific information around this question.’

Ms Almenara added even the smallest presence of an allergen, such as penicillin, in semen could lead to anaphylaxis. 

WHAT IS AN ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK? 

Anaphylaxis, also known as anaphylactic shock, can kill within minutes.

It is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger, such as an allergy.

The reaction can often be triggered by certain foods, including peanuts and shellfish.

However, some medicines, bee stings, and even latex used in condoms can also cause the life-threatening reaction.

According to the NHS, it occurs when the immune system overreacts to a trigger.

Symptoms include: feeling lightheaded or faint; breathing difficulties – such as fast, shallow breathing; wheezing; a fast heartbeat; clammy skin; confusion and anxiety and collapsing or losing consciousness.

It is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.

Insect stings are not dangerous for most victims but a person does not necessarily have to have a pre-existing condition to be in danger.

An incremental build-up of stings can cause a person to develop an allergy, with a subsequent sting triggering the anaphylactic reaction.



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