Sexual activity maybe an asthma trigger: Study

A new
study being presented at this year’s American College of Allergy, Asthma and
Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Louisville, KY, shows that sex
can be an undiagnosed trigger for asthma exacerbations.

When people with asthma wonder what forms of
exercise might cause an asthma flare, they may not take sexual relations into

“We wanted to investigate whether case studies
on asthma exacerbations mentioned sexual activity as a possible cause,” said
Ariel Leung, MD, an ACAAI member and lead author of the study. “Many people
don’t realize that the energy expenditure of sexual activity is about
equivalent to walking up two flights of stairs. Reported cases are infrequent,
possibly because those suffering an asthma flare may not realize the trigger.”

The study collected available literature on
sexual intercourse as an underdiagnosed trigger for asthma exacerbations. The
authors searched the PUBMED database for a variety of keywords including
“sexual intercourse OR honeymoon asthma OR sexual behavior AND allergy OR
allergic reaction.”

“Another possible cause of underreporting of
this condition is the intimate nature of the subject,” says allergist A.M.
Aminian, MD, an ACAAI member and co-author of the study. “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. If anyone would be able to guide a patient in how to avoid an asthma
flare in the future, it would be their allergist. When sexual activity-induced
asthma is properly identified and treated, allergists are better able to
improve their patient’s quality of life.”


A.M. Aminian,How Allergists are Saving
Marriages: A Review on Sexual Intercourse Presenting as Exercise-Induced Asthma, Annals of Allergy Asthma & Immunology

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