COPD and Sex

COPD and Sex

Topic Overview

For many people, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) gets in the way of sex. Being out of breath makes things difficult. Just thinking about it can make you want to avoid sex. But it doesn't have to be like that.

To start, think through what could help you be more comfortable. Share your thoughts with your partner. Come up with solutions together.

Here are some basics for making the most of your intimate time together:

  • Be well rested before having sex.
  • Choose the time of day when you have more energy and when breathing is easiest. You might want to avoid times when you've just eaten or had alcohol, or when it's hot or humid.
  • Clear your lungs beforehand. Use your bronchodilator medicine before you have sex. This can improve your shortness of breath.
  • Take your time, take it easy, and enjoy one another.
  • Try a side-by-side position. It can be less tiring.
  • Let your partner know when you need him or her to take the more active role.
  • Stop and rest if you have trouble breathing.

If you or your partner is worried about having sex, talk with your doctor about it. Your doctor or another health professional can give you support and advice.

Credits

Current as of: July 6, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Ken Y. Yoneda MD - Pulmonology

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