Sex After Heart Attack | Are you ready for This?
Getting a heart attack can really shake up a person. A happy go lucky man suddenly becomes very conscious of all his activities after suffering from a heart attack. Not only the patient but his immediate family starts fretting about what activities are safe for him. It starts from the food he eats to the work he does. There are so many questions for the doctor like what food is safe for him, what physical activities he can indulge in, whether he should continue with his old work or is it too stressful, etc.
There is one more very important question lurking in the minds of the patient and his partner- what about sexual activity? But more often than not, they are too embarrassed to talk to their doctor about this. Even doctors are reluctant to bring up this topic. A recent study published in the journal Circulation found that sexual counselling was given to just 12% of women and 19% of all the men who suffered from a heart attack. Considering that almost 720,000 individuals suffer from a heart attack in the U.S. each year, the number of people who receive sexual counselling is abysmally low.
Having Sex After a Heart Attack is Safe
Most of the people who have had a heart attack feel that engaging in sex can trigger another attack. However, this is not true. There are documented cases of people suffering from a heart attack while having sex. But, that is true in less than 1% of all cases.
In fact, according to heart specialists, sex should be considered as a form of physical exercise. And, any form of exercise is good for heart and circulation. Having sex increases the heart rate and blood pressure and improves the functioning of heart. Moreover, it makes one feel good and is a great stress-buster. So, one can indulge in sex activities as soon as three to four weeks after suffering from a heart attack.
Important Points to be Considered by Heart Patients
There are certain points that should be considered by a heart patient before re-starting his sex life. They are:
- Consult your physician to know if your cardiovascular system is stable. It is not safe for people with unstable angina to engage in sex activity. These patients should wait for their circulatory system to become more stable before re-embarking on their sex life.
- Do not engage in sex activity immediately after consuming a heavy meal.
- Do not take too many drinks before having sex.
- Ask your partner to be more pro-active during sex.
- Engage in sex in a position that is comfortable. In fact, patients with heart failure are advised to avoid lying on their back while having sex as this may increase the likelihood of pooling of secretions in the lungs thereby worsening the condition.
- Keep your medicines handy to deal with any emergency situation.
- Certain medicines like beta blockers can interfere with libido and may give rise to erectile dysfunction. Similarly, certain medicines to improve libido may interfere with the heart medicines. Therefore, one must always consult his doctor before taking these medicines.
Once, all these points are taken care of, a patient can enjoy a great sex life even after suffering from a heart attack. In fact, in some cases, the patients have reported an improved sex life as the heart attack episode has served as a catalyst to bring them even closer.
“Sexual Activity and Counseling in the First Month After Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) Among Younger Adults in the United States and Spain: A Prospective, Observational Study,” by Stacy Tessler Lindau, Emily M. Abramsohn, Harlan M. Krumholz, et al. Published in the journal Circulation in December 2014, accessed on June 11, 2015. Retrieved from: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2014/12/10/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.012709.full.pdf+html