Asthma is a very common disease affecting more than 200 million people worldwide. It is one of the very few diseases that are not caused by bacteria or a virus. And while the physical symptoms of the disease as well as its treatments are widely discussed and available, there is very little and almost non-existent information concerning the effects of this condition on the asthmatic person’s sex life.
Recently, a survey was made by Asthma UK, a charity that tries to help sufferers of the disease in the UK. The survey asked a number of people about how asthma affects their intimate relationships. More than 65 percent of the responders admitted that asthma had a direct effect on their sex lives. And while this may seem evident to some, it is an aspect that is not addressed enough and can potentially mean that asthma sufferers do not have total control over the disease and might be reluctant to discuss all its aspects.
Asthma patients are commonly asked about the impact of the condition on their social lives, on their family lives and on their work and studies but almost never about the influence it has on their intimate interactions with their partners.
The results of the survey indicate that not only can the sexual act become a trigger for asthma attacks with fits of coughing and rasping, but it can also cause a great deal of anxiety about a possible attack in case the latter didn’t happen systematically. Some responders also mentioned that some elements of the sexual environment such as candles, perfume or even condoms can cause attacks especially when the subject has allergies coupled with the condition, which is actually quite common. It goes without saying that having to reach for the inhaler during sex can be quite embarrassing and frustrating.
Because of the number of people that admit that asthma has directly been the reason for some of their failing relationships, the charity hopes to create an open discussion about this aspect of the asthmatic life in order to raise awareness and decrease the stigma of the condition.