Is sex making you breathless?

5th Apr 2020| by Colin Katz
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You won’t have a heart attack!

Shortness of breath is a disturbing condition that makes it difficult to breathe deeply enough to fill your lungs with air. It can happen at any time, especially during exertion, or even during a panic attack. However, it is particularly upsetting if it occurs during sexual intercourse and is accompanied by a bout of coughing.

Breathlessness makes many people excessively anxious about any exertion which may bring on shortness of breath. Sexual activity is an exertion which makes demands on your heart and lungs. You need to breathe more deeply, and your blood pressure and heart rate goes up for a short time. This is more or less the same for everyone, unless you are troubled by very noticeable shortness of breath during the sex act.

Fortunately this is not always a sign of a serious medical condition, and you are not likely to suffer a heart attack.

What causes breathlessness during sex?

If you are generally short of breath on a daily basis, it might be advisable to visit the doctor for a proper diagnosis. If it only occurs during sexual activity, but suddenly becomes worse or causes tightness in the chest, also make a plan to see the doctor.

Here are some reasons why breathlessness may happen during sex:

  • You may have performance anxiety, and the anxious thoughts in your mind can easily lead to breathlessness.
  • There might be a lung issue such as asthma or emphysema which contributes to a shortness of breath when exerted, and may cause coughing if your chest is not clear.
  • If you are, or have been a smoker, there may be some lung damage which has reduced the capacity of your lungs to take in air.
  • Obesity can also cause you to pant for breath and wheeze during a sexual encounter.
  • The normal process of aging can also lead to breathlessness during sex, due to the extra effort required for getting an erections or achieving an orgasm.

These issues do not necessarily require a trip to the doctor, but if you are worried that they are affecting your sexual relationship, discuss your concerns with your partner.

Some tips to help you manage breathless episodes during sex

  • Have sex when you are feeling rested and your breathing is normal.
  • Be comfortable and relaxed. If you are feeling tired and stressed, it could trigger a shortness of breath episode during sex.
  • You might want to clear your chest before having sex to avoid coughing during the encounter.
  • Don’t plan to have sex after a heavy meal. Breathing might be difficult if you have a full stomach and feel bloated.
  • If you have lung problems which affects your breathing, take a couple of puffs of your PRESCRIBED bronchodilator inhaler before engaging in sex. This may help breathlessness, and could even increase stamina.
  • If you use oxygen at home, using it before a sexual encounter can help you not to get too short of breath.

Talk to your partner about how shortness of breath is affecting you during sex. If you communicate with each other, together you may be able to come up with a solution to ease the problem.

We can help

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April 05, 2020

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