Health

I have burning feeling, what is the cause?


Dear doctor, I have been married for six years now. But these days, when I sleep with my husband I get severe burning sensation when he “comes”. He has stopped using pepper in his food but my situation has not improved. What can I do?
Anita
Dear Anita: Many Ugandans believe that a man who eats lots of pepper will cause a burning vaginal pain (akin to that pepper gives to the mouth when eaten) when he ejaculates hence delaying treatment.
However, when pepper is digested and absorbed, it is worked on in the body into a form which when it appears in semen is unlikely to lead to a vaginal burning sensation.
The burning feeling since it is recent could be from other causes like a semen allergy, which may have just started.
Also, inflammation of the vagina from any cause, say, due to STDs can lead to a burning sensation from semen.
Apart from STDs, a woman can get, an inflamed vagina due to infections resulting from overgrowth and/or an alteration in the vaginal small organisms (vaginal microbiota) especially due to use of broad spectrum of antibiotics, steroids, medicated soaps, contraceptive hormones and saliva.
The microbiota that may overgrow include the bad vaginal bacteria (bacterial vaginosis), fungi (Candida), and good bacteria (cytolytic vaginosis).
Practices like douching and having many sexual partners may also affect the microbiota and vaginal acidity causing an inflammation.
This will make a woman feel the said burning.
Friction caused by insufficient lubrication can also lead to burning.
Here, the symptoms will go once the cause is looked for and properly addressed.
EXPERTS SAY
Detect. When you get redness, swelling, and itchiness down there, it’s easy to assume it’s a yeast infection, or perhaps an STD. But experts say it may actually be a sign of an allergy to semen—yup, semen—causing your symptoms. While rare, a semen allergy can happen, and they are not always easy to detect. Here is what you need to know.
Rare. According to International Society for Sexual Medicine, a semen allergy (also known as seminal plasma hypersensitivity), is a rare allergic reaction to proteins found in a man’s semen that mostly impacts women.
Symptoms. Common symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, itching, and a burning sensation in the vagina that usually starts about 10 to 30 minutes after you have contact with semen. Symptoms are not just restricted to your vagina, though: They can happen on your skin or in your mouth as well.

In Summary

  • When you get redness, swelling, and itchiness down there, it’s easy to assume it’s a yeast infection, or perhaps an STD. But experts say it may actually be a sign of an allergy to semen—yup, semen—causing your symptoms.
  • Common symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, itching, and a burning sensation in the vagina that usually starts about 10 to 30 minutes after you have contact with semen.
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