Food allergies are challenging to live with especially when you are doing your best to avoid exposure to your trigger foods. But exposure doesn’t always mean ingestion as one woman reportedly found out the hard way.
The Daily Mail reports that the 20-year-old Australian OnlyFans model known as “Lucy Banks” went public with an embarrassing story of a reaction she suffered in an unusual way.
Banks, who has a severe allergy to peanuts, took to TikTok to report that she had sex with her boyfriend who did not use a condom at the time. The video was reportedly viewed over four million times before it was removed from the platform.
She takes up the story:
I had never heard of food allergens transmitting and negatively affecting partners through ejaculation before.
He had eaten peanuts earlier that day, and it transferred to me. I didn’t realise at the time that this was possible.
After she began experiencing severe swelling and pain, she was left “waddling” into a local pharmacy to find antihistamines to treat the symptoms. The pharmacy staff laughed at her unusual predicament.
A staffer “called over a few colleagues and tried to ask for their opinions and help, but she couldn’t stop laughing,” she said.
Banks went on to warn:
Those with minor or moderate allergies most likely won’t notice anything, but if you have a severe anaphylactic reactions [sic] to certain foods, then I would take special precautions with your partner to make sure they haven’t eaten anything that could trigger a negative, and possibly serious, response.
Needless to say, TikTok is not an appropriate venue for advice on coping with food allergies. That said, cases of adverse reactions from sexual intercourse have been documented.
In a case study entitled “Dangerous Liaison: Sexually Transmitted Allergic Reaction to Brazil Nuts” published in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology in 2007, researchers present what may have been the first such reported case.
The case study states:
A 20-year-old woman in a stable relationship developed widespread urticaria and angioedema shortly after vaginal intercourse with her partner. Condoms were not used as the patient was taking the contraceptive pill. The patient’s partner was aware of the patient’s very significant nut allergy and had bathed, brushed his teeth and cleaned his nails immediately before intercourse as he had consumed mixed nuts roughly two to three hours earlier. These had included between 4 to 5 Brazil nuts. The patient also suffered significant itching and swelling of her vagina and vulva and felt faint even when sitting. While there was no choking or wheezing, she felt mildly short of breath. She took 10 mg of cetirizine and started to improve within 45 minutes. Throughout the following day she noticed a marked fatigue but no skin rash, dyspnea or faintness.
What to take away from all this? First, we surmise the woman in the case study should have administered epinephrine and called emergency services as she was likely suffering symptoms of anaphylaxis. For a primer on how to determine whether an allergic reaction rises to the level of anaphylaxis and thus requires immediate treatment with epinephrine and medical attention, see “How to Determine Whether it’s Anaphylaxis“.
A quick search on the topic leads us to believe that a reaction caused by intercourse is an extremely rare event. If you are concerned about how your food allergy might be triggered under similar circumstances, we suggest you discuss the topic with your allergist.