If you have had angina, heart surgery, or a heart attack, you may:
Almost everyone with heart problems has these questions and concerns. The most helpful thing you can do is talk to your doctor, nurse, spouse, partner, or friends.
Both you and your doctor may be concerned that having sex will bring on a heart attack. Your doctor will be able to tell you when it is safe to have sex again.
After a heart attack or heart procedure:
Make sure you know the symptoms that could mean your heart is working too hard.
If you have any of these symptoms during the day, avoid sexual contact and talk to your doctor. If you notice these symptoms during or soon after having sex, stop the activity and talk to your doctor.
After heart surgery or a heart attack, your health care provider may say it is safe to have sex again.
But these health issues may change the way you feel about or experience sex and close contact with your partner. You may notice that you:
Your partner may be afraid to have sex with you. He or she may have the same feelings you are having.
Women may have trouble feeling aroused. Men may have trouble getting or keeping an erection, or have other problems. Your health care provider can help you find out what is causing the problem and suggest ways to deal with it.
If you have any questions or concerns about intimacy, talk to your health care provider.
If you are depressed, anxious, or afraid, medicine or talk therapy may help. Classes in lifestyle change, stress management, or therapy may help you, family members, and partners.
If the problem is caused by side effects of medicine you are taking, that medicine may be adjusted, changed, or another medicine added.
Men who have trouble getting or keeping an erection may be prescribed a medicine to treat this.
If you have new symptoms of heart trouble (see above) during sexual activity, stop the activity. Call your doctor for advice. If the symptoms do not go away within 5 - 10 minutes, call 911.
Morrow DA, Boden WE. Stable ischemic heart disease In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 57.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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