Inhalers at the ready: SEX can trigger asthma attacks and flare-ups, doctors find
- Cases are underreported because people don’t make the connection
- Or they may be too embarrassed to talk to discuss sex with their doctor
- Researchers Claimed Allergists ‘Save Marriages’ by Highlighting the Problem
Sex can trigger asthma attacks and flare-ups in the same way that intense exercise does, a study has shown.
The researchers say raising awareness about the link between sex and asthma ‘will improve patients’ lives, including their marriage’
Between 40 and 90 percent of asthmatics have symptoms that can be triggered by exercise, but patients are unlikely to think of sex as exercise.
dr. Ariel Leung, lead author of the study and chief of internal medicine at Saint Agnes Medical Center in California, said: “Many people don’t realize that the energy expenditure of sexual activity is roughly equivalent to walking up two flights of stairs.
She said reported cases of sex-induced asthma are rare, possibly because those suffering from a flare-up fail to make the connection.
Exercise is known to trigger asthma flare-ups, but people in particular don’t realize this includes sex
WHAT IS ASTHMA?
Asthma is a common but incurable condition that affects the small tubes in the lungs.
It can cause them to become inflamed or swollen, narrowing the airways and making it harder to breathe.
The condition affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood. Symptoms may improve or even disappear as children get older, but may return in adulthood.
Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing, and these can get worse during an asthma attack.
Treatment usually involves medication that is inhaled to calm the lungs.
Triggers for the condition include allergies, dust, air pollution, exercise, and infections such as the common cold or flu.
If you think you or your child may have asthma, you should see a doctor, as it can lead to more serious complications such as fatigue or lung infections.
The researchers searched PubMed, a database of more than 34 million citations and abstracts from biomedical literature, for various combinations of keywords, including sexual intercourse, honeymoon asthma, sexual behavior, allergy and allergic reaction.
They examined whether case studies on asthma triggers cited sex as a possible cause.
Some case studies did, but more reported allergic reactions to semen or latex.
The few studies that mentioned sex could have led to asthma attacks and noted that this condition was underreported.
Allergist Dr AM Aminian, co-author of the study, said this may be related to “the intimate nature of the subject.”
Disclosure depends on how comfortable the patient feels with their healthcare provider and on the healthcare provider’s awareness of including intercourse during exercise.
She said: ‘People may not feel comfortable discussing an asthma attack caused by sex with their allergist.
‘But allergists are specialists in the diagnosis, treatment and treatment of asthma.
dr. Aminian added: ‘If anyone could guide a patient on how to prevent an asthma attack in the future, it would be their allergist.’
The researchers concluded, “Profoundly investigating all causes of asthma exacerbations, including sexual intercourse … may put allergists in a position to positively improve their patient’s life, including their marriage.”
dr. Leung recommended that ‘patients take their short-acting beta-agonist inhaler 30 minutes before intercourse to prevent an asthma attack’, UPIA reported.
She said, “Some patients may think it takes away from the romance, but nothing is more romantic than taking care of yourself and not showing your partner an asthma attack.”
The findings, abstractly titled “How Allergists are Saving Marriages – A Review on Sexual Intercourse Presenting as Exercise-Induced Asthma,” were presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.