Allergy and Sexual Behaviours: an Update

  • Marco Caminati
  • Veronica Giorgis
  • Boaz Palterer
  • Francesca Racca
  • Chiara Salvottini
  • Oliviero Rossi


The exact prevalence of hypersensitivity reactions related to sexual behaviours is not known; however, they heavily impact on the quality of life and of sex life of affected patients. In fact, not only common respiratory and skin allergies, such as asthma, rhinitis, urticaria and atopic dermatitis, but also food and drug allergy have been found to negatively affect the quality of sex life. Allergic diseases impact on the sexual function in both physical and psychological ways, representing one of the main complaints of a considerable proportion of patients. Sexual behaviours may act as the triggers of allergic reactions or as the carriers of allergens. Food and drug allergens can be carried through human organic fluids, like saliva and semen. Latex in condoms and numerous substances in lubricants, spermicides, topical medications and cosmetics can cause allergic reactions or contact dermatitis. Sexual activity itself is also a potential trigger of symptoms in patients affected by respiratory allergies, like honeymoon asthma and rhinitis. In seminal plasma hypersensitivity, seminal fluid proteins are the culprit allergens. The present review aims at summarizing the state of the art about allergy and sexual behaviours. In clinical practice, the influence of common allergic diseases on the sexual quality of life should be taken carefully into account. Sexual behaviours need to be accounted in the differential diagnosis of hypersensitivity reactions, and awareness on those exposure routes should be raised between different specialists and general practitioners.


Sex and allergy Kiss-induced allergy Seminal plasma hypersensitivity Quality of life Respiratory sex allergies Genital contact dermatitis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


There is no funding source.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Allergy Unit and Asthma CenterVerona University and General HospitalVeronaItaly
  2. 2.SSDDU Allergologia e Immunologia Clinica, Department of Medical Sciences, AO Ordine Mauriziano “Umberto I”University of TurinTorinoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineUniversity of Florence, AOU CareggiFlorenceItaly
  4. 4.Personalized Medicine Clinic Asthma and Allergy, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Department of Biomedical ScienceHumanitas UniversityMilanItaly
  5. 5.Department of Internal Medicine and TherapeuticsUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  6. 6.Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Immunoallergology and Respiratory DiseasesUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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