With the cold and flu season well underway, new research sheds light on a peculiar aspect of couple dynamics during winter illnesses – relieving cold symptoms through intimate moments. 

According to recent research by STADA/Thornton & Ross, the makers of Knect personal lubricant, 77% of coupled-up Brits hesitate to engage in intimacy when one partner is under the weather, fearing the spread of germs. 

Despite the unromantic connotation, research indicates that not only can sex temporarily clear a stuffy nose, but it also boosts the production of Immunoglobin A (IgA), enhancing the immune system. Oddly enough, some people actually find themselves craving sex when they have a cold – the body is subconsciously seeking what it knows can help it. 

Commenting on the findings, Dr. Phil Sizer, a leading expert in cold and flu vaccines who taught England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, during his time at Oxford University, emphasises the significance of supporting the immune system through healthy habits and vaccinations: 

“This is a timely report in the season of respiratory infections, whether these are due to influenza, rhinovirus (otherwise known as the cold virus), Coronavirus or one of the other many respiratory viruses. The Covid-19 pandemic has made us consider not only our individual susceptibility to infection and consequent potential illness but also the impact of our own infectiousness and transmission to others.  

“We can help support our natural immune system to combat these viruses through a healthy diet, exercise – whichever form that might take, and through vaccinations.  Flu vaccines help protect against the main strains of influenza in circulation and may also help stop you spreading to other people who could be more vulnerable to infection.” 

The independent research by STADA, spanning 16 countries with 32,000 respondents (including 2,000 Brits), also reveals that: 

  • British women (18%) are more averse to the idea of sex with a sick partner than men, with almost one-third of men willing to take the “germ gamble.” 
  • 75% of people won’t even give their partners a kiss when they have a cold, for fear of catching the virus themselves. 

European Top 5 countries least likely for love if you’ve got the lurgy 

Top 5 European countries where women wouldn’t have sex with a romantic partner with a cold 

            RANKING           COUNTRY           % 
          1         UK         82% 
          2         Czech Republic         81% 
          3         Poland         80% 
          3         Serbia         80% 
          5         Romania         78% 

Top 5 European countries where men wouldn’t have sex with a romantic partner with a cold 

            RANKING           COUNTRY           % 
          1         Poland         74% 
          2         Czech Republic         73% 
          2         UK         71% 
          4         Serbia         70% 
          5         Belgium         69% 

Top 5 European countries where women wouldn’t kiss a romantic partner with a cold 

            RANKING           COUNTRY           % 
          1         UK         77% 
          2         Germany         72% 
          2         Italy         72% 
          4         Poland         71% 
          5         Portugal         69% 
          5         Romania         69% 
          5         Spain         69% 
          5         France         69% 

Top 5 European countries where men wouldn’t kiss a romantic partner with a cold 

            RANKING           COUNTRY           % 
          1         Germany         75% 
          2         UK         74% 
          2         France         74% 
          4         Poland         73% 
          5         Romania         72% 

Nigel Stephenson, General Manager of STADA UK, reflects on the findings, stating, ” In a post-pandemic society, recent events have reminded us of the paramount importance of good health, whether that’s physical or mental. Delivering this and improving healthcare contributing to everyone’s wellbeing requires a broad range of people and organisations acting together based on reliable and verifiable information and data.  This light-hearted snapshot of self-preservation is a small part of the much more serious research we undertake caring for people’s health as a trusted partner. 

“British men and women ranking the highest in Europe, according to our research, for taking certain precautions to avoid cold, flu and Covid this year, surely indicates a social distancing message remains at the back of many minds.” 

For more usually tried and tested cold symptoms relief options, that don’t take two to tango, STADA has a range of remedies: The Covonia range of cough medicines, remedies and suppressantsCare+ cold and flu relief and decongestantsand the Care+ Linctus range

For further advice visit https://www.covonia.co.uk/articles-advice