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Sex and breathlessness

Will my medications affect my sex life?

Some medications can cause a decline in your sex drive or sexual function. These include antidepressants. If this is a problem for you, ask your health care professional for advice.

Consult your health care professional too if you’re thinking of taking Viagra or any other drug to treat erectile dysfunction.

Using a steroid inhaler or taking steroids through a nebuliser can cause oral thrush, a type of infection in the mouth. This might make you feel less inclined to have sex or be intimate. Talk to your health care professional if you get lots of thrush infections.

Some medications, such as antibiotics, might increase the risk of genital thrush. It’s important to make sure thrush infections are properly treated, and avoid having sex until the infection has cleared up.

It’s perfectly safe to have sex while using oxygen. Some people find oxygen increases stamina. If you have been prescribed oxygen, you can use it during sexual activity. If you use a different setting of oxygen for activity, make sure to use the oxygen at this level.

Non-invasive ventilation

People who use non-invasive ventilation (NIV) overnight to help them to breathe often find it affects their sexual activity. But it’s perfectly safe to have sex and to be intimate while on NIV. So you can use your ventilator if it suits you and your partner.

Further information

Getting the information you need when you need it can make all the difference. Our friendly helpline team are dedicated to answering your questions. Call them on 0300 222 5800.

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

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