Happy old peopleOver two-thirds (68%) of people with asthma who responded to a survey by Asthma UK said their sex lives have been directly affected by their condition. The charity is launching a campaign on Valentine’s Day to raise awareness of how asthma can get in the way of sex and relationships, and how to seek help to enjoy a symptom-free love life.

Of the 544 people who responded to the Asthma and Your Love Life survey, almost three-quarters (73%) admitted they have felt embarrassed about using their inhaler on a romantic night out. Nearly half (46%) said they’d be more sexually confident if they didn’t have asthma, while just under 15% said they felt their asthma had contributed to a relationship ending.

People reported having to use their reliever inhaler during or after sex, with some deciding to reduce the amount of sex they have, or to stop having it altogether. Several also said they’ve been admitted to hospital because an orgasm triggered an asthma attack, while others reported problems with performing oral sex due to breathing difficulties.

Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UK’s in-house GP, said: “People with asthma should be able to enjoy a healthy love life without their condition getting in the way. However, our survey shows that many people are struggling with asthma symptoms. If you find that sex triggers your asthma, this may indicate that your asthma is not under control and you should seek help from your GP or asthma nurse.

“You can reduce your risk of an asthma attack and ensure your asthma is well-managed by making sure you have a regular asthma review with your GP or asthma nurse, a written asthma action plan and an inhaler check.”