There are many different substances that can cause irritation, bleeding, and itching after intercourse. Human beings can be allergic to practically any substance out there, and that includes many that are involved during sex: from semen, to latex, and lubricants, it’s good to keep an eye on possible allergens if you’re experiencing allergic reactions after sex.
Let’s discuss possible causes of after sex irritation.
What causes after sex irritation and burning?
Allergic reaction to condoms
Most condoms are made of latex, and both men and women can be allergic to this material. Latex allergies aren’t common, but they’re definitely not unheard of either — according to Planned Parenthood, it has been estimated that up to 6 percent of people have a latex allergy.
Women who are allergic to latex condoms may experience itchy, swollen labia after intercourse, hives, rash, difficulty breathing, or vulvar itch after intercourse. The good news is that there are other condom options available if you or your partner have a latex allergy, including:
- Polyurethane condoms
- Polyisoprene condoms
- Lambskin condoms (keep in mind that these condoms only protect against pregnancy, but not against STDs)
Allergic reaction to sperm
It may sound crazy to learn that some people can be allergic to sperm — and while it’s very rare, sperm allergy is definitely real. Exposure to sperm can cause itching and other confusing signs during and after intercourse, mostly affecting the vagina, labia, or other tissues that come into direct contact with semen. According to the Mayo Clinic, allergic reaction to sperm symptoms can include:
- Change in skin color in the affected area
- Burning sensation
- Body rash after sex
- Difficulty breathing
Fortunately, semen allergy and infertility aren’t directly associated. However, women with semen allergy who want to get pregnant will need to undergo treatment to become less sensitive to their partner’s sperm, or use an assisted reproduction technique.
Other allergic reactions after sex
Practically any substance that you use during or after sex can cause an allergic reaction or contact dermatitis, including:
- Latex condoms
- Sex toys
- Genital topical medications
- Spermicide creams, foams, sponges, and jellies
- Femenine hygiene products
- Wet wipes and towelettes
If you’re always itchy after intercourse, it may be a good idea to think of all the substances you use or put on your body during sex — from lubricants to the soap you use to wash yourself afterwards — and go through a process of elimination until you find out the cause. There can also be male reactions to lubricants or femenine hygiene products used by their partner.
It’s also important to seek medical attention if you’re having frequent allergic reactions after sex. Allergic reactions can range from mild to life-threatening, and a healthcare provider should assess your symptoms if you have any allergies. Once the cause of your allergies has been determined, your physician will be able to prescribe the right treatment for you.
There are numerous skin conditions that can affect your genitals and get worse during intercourse, leading to after sex itching and heat rash after sex. It’s possible for any preexisting skin conditions to become worse after sex, due to the friction, sweating, and heat that happens during intercourse. According to the Cleveland Clinic, common causes of itchy genitals include:
- Contact dermatitis
- Lichen sclerosus
- Yeast infection
- Bacterial vaginosis
Can males be allergic to female discharge?
A study published in the British Medical Journalfound that some men have an allergic reaction to Candida spp., which is a type of fungus that is part of the normal vaginal flora in most circumstances. In the study, men with candida hypersensitivity reported penile soreness after intercourse. However, more research is needed on this topic.
Keep in mind that there are other causes of burning and itching during intercourse, and allergies can’t cause certain symptoms; for example, condoms can’t cause white discharge after sex, or unpleasant smelling discharge.
Itching after oral sex
Just like during vaginal or anal intercourse, different allergens can cause itching after oral sex. Examples include condoms, lubricants, and flavored products. However, you should also remember that certain STDs can be transmitted during oral sex. If your throat continues to itch after giving oral sex, it may be time to get tested for different STDs.
Symptoms like a rash, itching, and irritated skin can be caused by different sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It’s very important to get tested for STDs regularly, especially if you’re experiencing any signs that could be related to an infection or a different condition. It’s also necessary to get tested if you have recently had multiple sex partners or if you’re having sex with a new partner.
At-home STD testing offers an affordable and convenient option to get tested from the comfort of your own home. You can learn more about STD testing and other reproductive health topics at STDWatch.com.
What should I do if my partner or I am allergic to latex condoms? - plannedparenthood.org
Semen allergy: A cause of infertility? - mayoclinic.org
Sexual Health: Genital Itching - my.clevelandclinic.org
Genital allergy - sti.bmj.com