A new study has shown that sex can trigger asthma attacks and flareups.
The researchers say raising awareness about the link between sex and asthma will ‘improve patient’s lives, including their marriages’
Between 40 and 90 per cent of asthma patients have symptoms that can be brought on by exercise, but sufferers are unlikely to think of sex as exercise.
Dr Ariel Leung, lead author of the study and chief internal medicine resident at Saint Agnes Medical Center in California, said: ‘Many people don’t realize that the energy expenditure of sexual activity is about equivalent to walking up two flights of stairs.
She said that reported cases of sex-induced asthma are rare, possibly because those suffering a flare-up will not make the connection.
The researchers scoured PubMed, a database containing over 34 million citations and abstracts of biomedical literature, for different combinations of keywords including sexual intercourse, honeymoon asthma, sexual behavior, allergy and allergic reaction.
They investigated whether case studies on asthma triggers mentioned sex as a possible cause.
Some case studies did, but more reported allergic reactions to semen or latex.
The few studies which mentioned sex might have spurred on asthma attacks noted the underreporting of this condition.
Allergist Dr A.M. Aminian, study co-author, said this could be down to ‘the intimate nature of the subject’.
Disclosure depends on how at ease the patient feels with their healthcare provider and the provider’s awareness of including sexual intercourse in exercise.
She said: ‘People may not be comfortable discussing with their allergist an asthma flare that was caused by sex.
‘But allergists are specialists in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of asthma.
Dr Aminian added: ‘If anyone would be able to guide a patient in how to avoid an asthma flare in the future, it would be their allergist.’
The researchers concluded: ‘Properly investigating all causes of asthma exacerbations, including sexual intercourse… can place allergists in a position of positively improving their patient’s lives, including their marriages.’
This story was first reported by Daily Mail.