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 can 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. They include:
If you have any of these symptoms during the day, avoid sex and talk to your doctor. If you notice these symptoms during (or soon after) having sex, stop the activity. Call your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
After heart surgery or a heart attack, your doctor may say it is safe to have sex again.
But your health issues may change the way you feel about or experience sex and close contact with your partner. Besides being worried about having a heart attack during sex, you may feel:
Women may have trouble feeling aroused. Men may have trouble getting or keeping an erection, or have other problems.
Your partner may have the same feelings you are having and may be afraid to have sex with you.
If you have any questions or concerns about intimacy, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you find out what is causing the problem and suggest ways to deal with it.
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 may be added.
Men who have trouble getting or keeping an erection may be prescribed a medicine to treat this. These include medicines like sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis).
If you have new symptoms of heart trouble (see above, "When is it Safe?") during sexual activity, stop the activity. Call your doctor for advice. If the symptoms do not go away within 5 to 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: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 57.
Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2015, A.D.A.M., Inc. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized in writing by ADAM Health Solutions.