Postcoital asthma and rhinitis

Chest. 1991 Oct;100(4):1039-41. doi: 10.1378/chest.100.4.1039.


Sexual intercourse as a trigger factor for attacks of asthma and/or rhinitis and the morbidity caused thereof is not well recognized. We present four patients (three males and one female) with postcoital asthma and/or rhinitis. Acute severe asthma subsequent to sexual intercourse in one male patient had resulted in several emergency department visits and hospitalization on one occasion. Anxiety was a predominant feature in the patients and their spouses that had interfered with their sexual life and worsened their disease. Late asthmatic response, on occasions, occurred in two patients. None of the patients developed wheezing dyspnea or rhinitis, nor did they have a fall in peak expiratory flow rates on climbing two flights of stairs, an exercise considered equivalent to energy expended during sexual intercourse. Thus, sexual excitement rather than exercise appeared to be the cause of postcoital asthma and rhinitis. Adequate pharmacotherapy along with counseling of the patients and their spouses restored normal sexual function and control of asthma and rhinitis. Postcoital asthma and rhinitis can easily be overlooked due to patient embarrassment and lack of physician awareness.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Coitus*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Rhinitis / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis / etiology*
  • Spirometry