Ask a Health Coach: “Does semen contain gluten? I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and wondering how this could impact my sex life.”


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“Does semen contain gluten? I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and wondering how this could impact my sex life.” – Wary of Gluten

 

I’ve been asked this question more times than I can count. When you’ve just been informed that gluten can make you really, seriously sick, you get worried about its presence everywhere. In food? In makeup? In my toothpaste? And yes…in my partner’s body.

 

Does semen contain gluten?

The short answer is…probably not. Unfortunately, we lack the studies necessary to prove whether there’s gluten in semen, sweat or urine. We do know a woman who eats gluten can pass it to her child through her breastmilk. However, testes work differently than breasts (thankfully). According to Dr. Dan Leffler, instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, “The testes tend to tightly regulate entry of proteins, and there is no reason to expect that there would be any benefit” for the body to have gluten in semen, as there is for having gluten in breastmilk.

 

Time for some fun facts!

As it turns out, though, there is such a thing as an allergic reaction to semen. According to Dr. Charles Feng, “Semen allergy, or more specifically an allergic reaction to proteins in human seminal plasma (HSP), exists in women. Given the obviously sensitive nature of this topic, there have been only 90 published case reports worldwide.” He wrote a fascinating article on this phenomenon.

 

Additionally, let’s talk about prostaglandins (groups of fatty acid compounds that help transmit pain signals throughout the body, found lots of different places in the body). Among many other things they do all over our bodies, in women, they’re the little bastards responsible for promoting uterine contractions during menstruation. (Acetaminophen slows prostaglandin production, which is responsible for painful periods. And that, boys and girls, is why Tylenol can be helpful during a period and is a widely-touted pain reliever!)

 

But wait, there’s more! Guess what else contains prostaglandins? SEMEN. For those who are very sensitive to prostaglandins, semen can cause problems – stomach cramps or diarrhea if received orally or anally, and worsened uterine cramps if received vaginally during your period. (Mothers may be aware that semen can help induce labor – thanks to prostaglandins.)

 

But back to celiac disease – can it impact your sex life?

Well, kinda. Here are some tips to avoiding gluten issues if your partner eats gluten or uses products with gluten in them:

  1. If they eat gluten, make sure they brush with gluten-free toothpaste and floss before a makeout session.
  2. If they wear makeup that could contain gluten (lots of lipsticks do), make sure they wash it off before performing oral sex on you.
  3. Make sure any lubes you use don’t contain gluten (though I’ve never seen one that does, I advise everyone to make sure the lubes they use are natural-based)
  4. Check the ingredients of any massage oil or body care products you might use on yourself or your partner.
  5. Many medications contain gluten. If you’re taking a birth control pill, make sure it’s gluten-free.

Generally, going gluten-free for any reason, celiac or not, can present its fair share of challenges. However, it shouldn’t put a damper on your sex play or how you and your partner interact sexually.

If you have any questions on a new gluten-free lifestyle, let me know! If you have any other tips, leave them in the comments!

 

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 Keep sending your wonderful questions! You can submit anonymously here. If you’d like to set up a complimentary consultation with me, let me know – I’d love to talk with you!

 

 

 

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