Can Sex Improve Nasal Function?-An Exploration of the Link Between Sex and Nasal Function

Ear Nose Throat J. 2023 Jan;102(1):40-45. doi: 10.1177/0145561320981441. Epub 2021 Jan 4.


Objectives: This study was conducted to examine the impact of sexual activity on nasal breathing and compare such effect to that of a nasal decongestant.

Methods: We evaluated nasal breathing at 5 different times: (1) before sexual activity (baseline), (2) immediately after sexual activity, (3) 30 minutes, (4) 1 hour (5), and 3 hours after sexual climax. Same measurements were taken on the second day following application of nasal decongestant spray. For evaluation of nasal breathing, we used a visual analogue scale (VAS). Additionally, we used a portable rhinometric device to measure resistance and nasal flow.

Results: Nasal breathing improved significantly after sexual intercourse with climax to the same degree as after application of nasal decongestant for up to 60 minutes, as measured subjectively with the VAS (sex -3.6, P < .001; spray -3.2, P < .001). This was confirmed in the objective rhinometric data as mean nasal flow (mL/s) increased while resistance decreased immediately (flow sex +214, P < .001; flow spray +235, P < .001), 30 (flow sex +249, P < .001; flow spray +287, P < .001), and 60 minutes (flow sex +180, P < .001; flow spray +287, P < .001) post-intervention. Nasal breathing was back to the baseline level after 3 hours following sexual intercourse, while it continued to be improved for longer after application of nasal decongestant. Only participants having nasal obstruction (Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation score >30) showed nasal function improvement after sex.

Conclusions: Sexual intercourse with climax can improve nasal breathing to the same degree as application of nasal decongestant for up to 60 minutes in patients having nasal obstruction.

MeSH terms

  • Coitus*
  • Humans
  • Nasal Decongestants / therapeutic use
  • Nasal Obstruction*


  • Nasal Decongestants