Sex after a heart attack

There is no need to stop being sexually active due to heart problems. However, people who have had a heart attack often need advice before leaving the hospital to continue their sexual life.

Sex is usually part of the normal life one will return to after a heart attack. Resuming sexual activity is completely safe for most people. But many who have suffered from a heart attack are afraid that the effort associated with sex can be a strain on the heart.

Also read: Erectile dysfunction – a possible risk factor for cardiovascular disease?

Have a conversation with the doctor

If you have had a heart attack and you are wondering if it is safe to resume your sex life, talk to your doctor. Remember that the doctor is well used to answering this type of question. A new study shows what the advice people get before leaving the hospital, has to mean for their sex life and how likely the patients are to resume sex life after they have returned home.

The researchers interviewed 1760 people who had recently had a heart attack. Then they were followed up a year later. The study is conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago in the United States. The results have not yet been published in a scientific journal, but according to the BMJ group, it was presented by the American Heart Association’s Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.

According to researchers, it is safe for most people to have sex within a couple of weeks after a heart attack, but a clear consultation with a doctor can reduce the worries. The doctor can provide information on whether sex can cause problems and advice on what the patient should do if he or she experiences symptoms such as chest pain during or after sex.

Also read: Sexuality when you get older

More men than women

The results from the study show that there are more men than women who get advice about sex before leaving the hospital. Yet, those who discuss this subject with a doctor is a clear minority. There are also more men than women who have had some form of sexual activity the year after the heart attack – 68 percent of men, against 41 percent of women, resumed their sex life.

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The researchers found that if patients had no personal advice, between 30 and 40 percent were more likely to have stopped with sex after the heart attack. The researchers emphasize that more research is needed on the subject. They also point out that the reason for the differences between the groups may be that people who are most committed to resuming their sex life, more often ask the doctor for advice.

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