Why intimacy can relieve a stuffy nose

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Why intimacy can relieve a stuffy nose

Stuffy noses are annoying.  The constant reaching for a tissue to remove congestion to searching your medicine cabinet for relief are only temporary measures.  How about having sex?  Surprisingly, the act of being intimate can also bring about relief when a stuffy nose has you down. 

Why sex for a stuffy nose?

When our noses run or are stuffed, this is because the small blood vessels in your nose are swollen and irritated.  Our noses contain a lot of blood vessels, called turbinates.  Working similar to erectile and labial tissues in our genitals, these blood vessels can swell. Once our tissues in our nose become swollen, this blocks your nasal passages, creating congestion making it harder for you to breathe.

One way to unclog congestion is to become intimate.  When we are aroused, the sympathetic nervous system, the one which activates your fight-or-flight response, kicks in.  In addition, your adrenaline levels increase while your blood vessels constrict.

This results in less blood flow to your nose which results in less inflammation.  Less inflammation allows your nose to become unclogged as it opens up allowing you to breathe more normally.

Can sex be considered a “cure” for a runny nose?

Before you get rid of all your cold medicines and throw out your tissues, know that sex is not considered a cure-all for stuffy noses.  First, it depends on what sexual position you are in when being intimate.  If you are lying on your back during sex, the level of congestion relief will not be as significant.  Lying down will not benefit you as much from the effects of gravity.  This is because when you are lying down, gravity is not able to pull against your congestion as strongly.  This is also why when we lay down to sleep with a stuffy nose, it is usually more difficult to breathe as opposed to being more elevated.

Does the relief last very long?

Using sex as a means of relieving a stuffy nose will only last so long.  On average, you can expect congestion relief for about 45 minutes to an hour.

The good thing about using sex to stop the stuffiness is that it doesn’t come with many side effects and generally results in a very pleasurable aftereffect.

Other means of easing congestion

Of course there are other ways to bring relief to your nose, none of which are as fun as having some fun under the covers.  Medications are always the go-to for many but the advice is to use them sparingly.  Relying on them too long can result in “rebound congestion” which is when the congestion returns whenever you stop using them.

Alternative relief options to possibly consider include short-term nasal decongestion sprays, long-term nasal steroid sprays, or oral antihistamines.