Findings Indicate Symptoms Can Limit Sex Frequency Two-thirds (66.6 percent) of Americans admit they don’t even try to maintain their normal sex life while experiencing cold and flu symptoms according to survey data released by Embria Health Sciences makers of EpiCor.

The first-ever public survey on cold and flu effects on sexual behavior was done shortly before Valentine’s Day 2014. This nationwide online survey asked 500 adults their opinions on how cold and flu symptoms affect their romantic and sexual behavior.

  • More than a third (36.8%) of respondents claim they have used a cold or flu or would use the excuse of a cold or flu to get out of a date.
  • 57% of participants said they would rather have sex while suffering from a broken arm than from a severe cold or flu.
  • More than a third (35.2%) say a runny nose would keep them from kissing their partner, beating out coughing, fever/sweating and sneezing.
  • Participants were split fifty-fifty when asked if bad breath or a cold is a bigger turnoff but more women said they would rather kiss someone with obvious cold or flu symptoms than someone with bad breath while more men said they would put up with bad breath over cold or flu symptoms.
  • More than a third (35.8%) have missed one or more romantic dates because of a cold or flu.
  • 55.4% say they would not have sex with someone they desire if that person has the cold or the flu.
  • More than half (56.8%) of the participants said they wait at least one and up to seven days or more after their partner has gotten over a cold or flu to have sex with him/her again.
  • 21.4% of participants admit they have either hid or would hide cold or flu symptoms from someone in order to get lucky.

The cold is the most common disease in the world. According the Center for Disease Control website, “Each year, there are more than one billion cases of the common cold in the United States. Most people get colds in the winter and spring. However, it is possible to get a cold at any time of the year.”

Prior studies have shown that colds and flu impact the quality of life through missed school days, poor sleep and lost productivity at work but no studies have been conducted to measure how much they might impact an adult’s love life.

The average adult gets two to four colds per year and each can last up to two weeks. Forty percent of respondents in this survey reported getting two or more per year. Combining the survey results with the prevalence of cold and flu symptoms suggest that the illnesses may have a greater effect on the quality of life than has been previously studied.

A prior study done by researchers at Wilkes University showed that regular sex might help prevent colds and flus. The study reported that undergraduates having sex one to two times each week showed elevated levels of sIgA, an important immunoglobulin that acts as a first line of defense known to play a role in the susceptibility to transmittable illness.

The US Centers for Disease Control reported at the end of that influenza activity remained high throughout the United States. The spread of flu was regional or widespread in 47 states. Peak activity typically begins in January although the highest rates of occurrence historically happen in February. The CDC recommends flu prevention through vaccination, avoiding close contact with sick people, staying home at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, using facial tissues, frequent hand washing and following through with doctor-prescribed treatment.


Data was obtained through an anonymous online survey conducted on Jan. 30, 2014 through the Toluna QuickSurveys polling company. The survey received 500 responses.

Among the 51 percent female and 49 percent male participants who took part in the survey, nearly two thirds are married or in a steady relationship and about 38 percent are single with a relatively equal cross section of age participants including 31 percent from 18 to 34-years-old, 38 percent 35 to 54-years-old, and 31 percent 55-years-old or older.