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Investigation of Seminal Plasma Hypersensitivity Reactions

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Final rept. 23 Sep 1996-22 Mar 2000

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Since returning from the Gulf War GW, veterans andor their sexual partners have been experiencing burning, pain and swelling of the urogenital tract after exposure to semen. This phenomenon referred to as Burning Semen Syndrome BSS is similar to symptoms experienced by civilian women diagnosed with localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity. These women experience localized vaginal inflammation, characterized by burning and pain which occurs immediately after contact with their sexual partners semen. Desensitization using relevant homologous seminal plasma protein antigens obtained from their sexual partner has been successful in many cases suggesting that some post-coital localized vaginal reactions may be IgE-mediated. 1-3 A questionnaire survey previously distributed to 1,073 women suspecting they might have symptoms consistent with localized andor systemic seminal plasma protein hypersensitivity revealed that 12 fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for this disorder. This survey indicated that seminal plasma protein hypersensitivity reactions were more common than previously reported. The objectives of this research project were to identify the prevalence of B SS, to evaluate GW veterans and their sexual partners with BSS, to determine if the underlying mechanisms of BSS is immunologic, infectious andor toxicologic in nature and to identify potential treatments for BSS.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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