A heart attack can be an incredibly traumatic experience – getting back to everyday life, let alone your intimate life, can feel like an insurmountable task. I know it can be scary, but with the support of your doctor and partner, you can get back to a safe and fulfilling sex life.
So, is it safe?
If your doctor has given you clearance to return to your regular physical activity, and you are able to do so without having heart attack symptoms, you should be able to have sex again. Yay! A good rule of thumb is if you can climb two flights of stairs without chest pain or breathlessness, you should be fit enough for sex. I know it can feel like an awkward topic to bring up with your doctor, but sex after a heart attack is a VERY common question and an important one! The best thing you can do is ask your doctor, we expect to hear questions like this.
There is a risk of having a heart attack during sex due to the stress sex can have on your heart if your heart is weak or if you have blockages that have not been opened. It’s important to avoid sexual activity if you have been recommended to avoid heavy physical exertion, particularly if you are still undergoing cardiac investigations and work up. It’s important to keep in mind, if you experience any chest pain or breathlessness during sex, stop and consult your doctor immediately. It could be a symptom of an impending heart attack.
But things feel different than they used to…
You’ve been through an emotional and stressful event, so it’s not uncommon for things to take a while to get back to the way they used to be. It’s important to be open with your partner about any fears you might have. Odds are good that they share many of your same concerns. Take things slow and use this as an opportunity for dialogue.
For some people, heart problems and medications can cause physical changes to your body that make sex more uncomfortable or difficult. Men can sometimes face Erectile Dysfunction and women may experience vaginal dryness. Your doctor can help you with treatments for these issues – they are very fixable problems! But they can’t help fix what they don’t know, so be sure to ask if any of these issues arise!
Remember, your doctor wants to you to be healthy and happy 😉
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