Intended for healthcare professionals


Study that finds good sex clears a stuffed nose as well as a decongestant wins Ig Nobel prize for medicine

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 10 September 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2230
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

Good sex cures a stuffy nose, fear is in the air at a scary movie, beards protect against broken jaws, fat politicians are a sign of national corruption, and upside down flying rhinoceroses were among this year’s Ig Nobel prize winners.

The Ig Nobel prizes for research that “first make people laugh and then make people think” are given annually by the science humour magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics students. The awards were handed out on 9 September by actual Nobel prize winners at a virtual ceremony led by Annals editor Marc Abrahams.

18 orgasmic heterosexual couples in Heidelberg showed that good sex is a quick fix for a stuffy nose in a study by Olcay Cem Bulut of the University Hospital in Heidelberg and colleagues in Heilbronn, Germany, and York, England. The study won the medicine prize, perhaps confirming Freud’s thought that the nose and the genitals are connected.

The couples were professional healthcare workers and their partners, one or both suffering from nasal congestion. The …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription