What is COPD?
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) may lead to sexual dysfunction. This might be due to fatigue and breathlessness caused by COPD. However, it should not prevent you from having sexual relations. You can still have sex despite COPD. Consider consulting with a professional for sexual guidance.
COPD refers to some conditions (Chronic bronchitis and emphysema) that lead to blockage of the airway. This results in breathing issues. COPD may occur due to tobacco smoking, air pollution, and some respiratory conditions.
If you have COPD, you are likely to show some or all of the following symptoms:
- Coughing frequently
- Difficulty taking in deep breaths
- Excessive production of mucus or sputum
How COPD may affect sex
COPD is quite a common chronic condition. It is currently the third-largest cause of death in the United States. For a long time, it was seen as a condition that only affected men. However, that has changed over the years. Cases of COPD in women are starting to become just as common.
COPD might cause hardships during sex. This is because the respiratory condition may cause you difficulty performing heavy tasks. As mentioned earlier, it affects both men and women. If you are a woman, you may experience difficulty breathing, wheezing, or coughing during sexual activity. Such experiences may cause some adverse effects on your general health and your sexual health.
Respiratory issues caused by COPD should not prevent you from enjoying a good sex life. After being diagnosed with COPD, talk to your doctor and partner about your problem to figure out the best way forward.
How to enjoy sex with COPD
You can still enjoy sex despite having breathing issues and fatigue caused by COPD. Here are a few things you can do to start enjoying your sex life:
Communicate with your partner
To maintain a good relationship, you need to talk to your partner about your sexual issues caused by COPD. This may go a long way in helping you overcome some of these issues and find solutions that work for you. Try not to give in to the discomfort that might come with sharing such a personal issue.
The energy you require for sex is the same energy you need to perform your normal tasks, like walking around the house. Consider engaging in simple activities like walking. Also, you may decide with your partner to have sex during your best hours of the day when issues like breathing are not much of a problem.
Avoid air pollution
Escaping the health effects of air pollution on your COPD can involve avoiding using products with irritants in the house. An excellent example of a product that might cause breathing problems is fragrances. Other possible irritants to avoid include smoke, dust, pet dander, and mold. This should be enforced especially in the bedroom, where sex happens most. You may also consider using unscented products to prevent irritation.
Focus on cooling
Try keeping cool while having sex to help avoid breathlessness and fight off the heat. You may do so by having a fan on or opening the window to let some cool air in. Let the cool air blow on your face. A lot of heat may worsen your breathing issues.
Use medications if needed
Consider taking medication to avoid breathlessness before sex. This may also help prevent issues like wheezing or coughing during sexual activity. Take some short-acting bronchodilators about 15 minutes before sex. You may also consider having your inhaler close to being ready in case an issue arises.
If you are male and having erectile dysfunction, consult with your doctor for a prescription of medication to solve it. Also, consider clearing any excess mucus before engaging in sexual activity.
Consider using supplemental oxygen during sex if you don’t already for your COPD. You may extend the length of the oxygen tube so you can move around quickly. If you do not use supplemental oxygen, consider consulting a professional about starting to use it during sexual activities.
It may help to be experimental in the bedroom. Consider trying different sex positions. This may help you in finding the best positions for you. Avoid positions that involve applying pressure to your chest.
Consider a break
If you start experiencing breathing problems while having sexual relations, try taking a short break to catch a breath.
Keep your goal in mind
Try to remember the ultimate goal of making love, which is intimacy. Aim to have the most intimate experience despite having COPD.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 'Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)."
International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: "Influence o sex on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk and treatment outcomes."
The Pulmonary Education and Research Foundation: “Sex Despite Breathing Problems."
Top Can Someone with COPD Still Have Sex Related Articles
4 Sex Topics You Should Discuss With Your PartnerOne-on-one contact, empathy, and emotional connections are all usually very important in establishing sexual intimacy. Four sex topics you should discuss with your partner include physical limitations, gender history, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and religious upbringing.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung condition caused by smoking tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke, and/or air pollutants. Conditions that accompany COPD include chronic bronchitis, chronic cough, and emphysema.
Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, and chronic cough. Treatment of COPD includes GOLD guidelines, smoking cessation, medications, and surgery. The life expectancy of a person with COPD depends on the stage of the disease.
COPD QuizCOPD is a combination of three conditions? Take this quiz to learn the three conditions that make up the pulmonary disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Energy Foods for COPDWhat are COPD foods to avoid that may trigger symptoms? Learn more about the COPD diet. Boost your energy and combat COPD with these diet tips.
COPD Lung SymptomsCOPD is a pulmonary disorder caused by obstructions in the airways of the lungs leading to breathing problems. Learn about COPD symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
COPD vs. Asthma (Differences and Similarities)COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma both have common symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest. COPD is caused by tobacco smoking, while asthma is caused by your inherited genetic makeup and their interactions with the environment. Risk factors for asthma are obesity, exposure to cigarette smoke (even secondhand smoke), and personal history of hay fever. There is no cure for either disease, but symptoms can be managed with medication. A person with asthma has a better prognosis and life expectancy than someone with COPD.
COPD vs. EmphysemaCOPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the term doctors and other healthcare professionals use to describe a group of serious, progressive (worsens over time), chronic lung diseases that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and sometimes asthma. The number one cause of COPD or emphysema, is smoking, and smoking is the third leading cause of death in the US.
Does Sex Speed Aging?There is no scientific evidence to suggest that engaging in sexual activity can speed up the aging process. In fact, some research has suggested that regular sexual activity may have a number of health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, boosting the immune system, and reducing stress. Still, it is important to practice safe sex in order to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.
End-Stage COPD: Signs, Symptoms, and PrognosisChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases causing an inflammatory reaction and irreversible damage to the lungs. They cause obstruction of airflow and difficulty breathing.
Exercises for COPDThe more you exercise, the better you'll feel with COPD. Breathe easier with these 10 exercises from WebMD.
How Long Do COPD Exacerbations Last?Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations may last for two days or even two weeks, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Is Masturbation Healthy?Masturbation is a healthy and natural part of one’s own sexuality. Check out the center below for more medical references on sexual health, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Is the Latest Treatment for COPD?Researchers are exploring new treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Learn about 8 of the latest options.
What Is the Life Expectancy of Someone With COPD?Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases with the chief symptom of breathlessness and cough. COPD is a slowly progressive disease. Depending on the disease severity, the five-year life expectancy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ranges from 40%-70%. That means 40-70 out of 100 people will be alive after five years of diagnosis of COPD.