Sex and medications

Find out how some medications and treatments can affect your sex life

Never change or stop taking your medicines without talking to your doctor

Your GP, specialist or asthma nurse can talk to you about different treatment options for your condition. They will help you get the best care.


Using a steroid inhaler or taking steroids through a nebuliser can cause oral thrush.  

Oral thrush is not contagious. This means you can still kiss and have sex with your partner, and they will not get it. 

You’re less likely to get oral thrush if you rinse your mouth after using your inhaler and have good inhaler technique. Watch our quick inhaler videos to find out more. 

If you have asthma

Taking your preventer inhaler every day as prescribed means that you’re less likely to get symptoms during sex or need to use your reliever inhaler.  


It’s safe to have sex while using oxygen. Ask your respiratory team if you need to use a higher oxygen setting for activity.  


If you’ve been taking steroid tablets for a long time, you might get side effects. Side effects like ‘moon face’, weight gain, or mood changes might impact your confidence.  

The NHS have more information about managing the side effects of steroid tablets


If you’re taking antidepressants, they can lower your sex drive.  You might also find it harder to orgasm during sex or masturbation.  Your GP might recommend a different type of antidepressant if this is a problem for you. 

We have a lot of information about how to look after your mental health


Antibiotics can cause genital thrush (sometimes called a yeast infection). Thrush can be spread through sex, but this is uncommon. It’s still best to avoid sex until thrush has gone, as it can make sex uncomfortable.

Cancer treatments

Treatments for lung cancer or mesothelioma can lower your sex drive. Cancer Research have more information about sex and cancer.

Get support

Call our Helpline for support with your condition. Get advice on your medicines, symptoms or travelling with a lung condition, or just call us to say hello.

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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 0300 222 5800 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

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