Relationships and asking for the help you need (COPD)

9) Intimate relationships

Close up photograph showing older couple holding hands

© Crown copyright 2009

Some people with COPD may have concerns about the condition affecting sexual relationships and intimacy.

COPD does not diminish your ability to have an intimate relationship but problems with lack of energy, coughing and breathlessness may affect your stamina and interest in sex. You may even avoid sexual intimacy because you are scared you may cough or get breathless. Anxiety can also have an affect on your sex drive.

Talking to your partner about how you feel and any worries you may have will make it easier for you both to deal with the situation before it becomes a problem.

Be comfortable with each other again by kissing and touching without necessarily expecting intercourse.

Be open and consider each others needs towards a warm and loving relationship.

Planning ahead and using ways of coping will give you the confidence to keep sexually active if this is what you and your partner want.