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Sex After Heart Disease


Sex After Heart Disease

Some patients or their partners may think that sex will trigger a heart attack. They may be concerned about whether or not they can have a sexual life after a heart attack or any kind of heart disease. However, the reality is that most patients can have a sexual life.

After a heart attack or surgery, most people, as long as they are free of chest pain or other complications, can resume sexual relations three to six weeks later. Conditions that affect the heart are included in the term heart disease, they include:

 

  • Heart failure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Vulvular heart disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Inflammatory heart disease
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Hypertensive heart disease

 

SEX AFTER HEART DISEASE:

For people with one or more forms of cardiovascular disease, having sex after heart disease is good. However, there are some caveats to resuming sex after heart disease. Listed below are some of the things that people should know:

 

Stress tests:

Remembering that sex is a workout is quite important. So until the patient can withstand the cardiac workout, he/she will be recommended to abstain from sex. The concern is when someone doesn’t have any physical activity and then he/she is more physically active with sexual activity than any other time. However, a person won’t be recommended to abstain from sexual activity in case he/she can walk six minutes on the treadmill or can handle the stairs. People shouldn’t stay away from sex just because they’ve had heart disease.

 

Sex after a heart attack or bypass surgery:

Some patients or their partners may think that sex will trigger a heart attack. They are concerned about whether or not they can have a sexual life after a heart attack or any kind of heart disease. However, the reality is that most patients can have a sexual life. After a heart attack or surgery, most people, as long as they are free of chest pain or other complications, can resume sexual relations three to six weeks later.

 

Sex also gives heart disease patients a good incentive to change their lifestyles because what is good for the heart is good for the bedroom, such as exercising, not smoking and maintaining an ideal body weight; and what is bad for the heart is bad for the bedroom.

 

The patient could find a psychologist to talk about some of his/her fears in case concerns persist. Quality of life is important. The goal here is to get people back as close as possible to their normal activities and feeling pleasure and feeling good about themselves.

 

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION:

One of the early warning signs of cardiovascular disease could be erectile dysfunction, despite the fact that heart disease is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction. This is because the tiny arteries that go into the penis clog up because they are about half the diameter of the ones that go into the heart.

 

A person usually gets about three years between symptoms of erectile dysfunction and symptoms of heart disease. This means that the penis is just like a red flag. Men who have erectile dysfunction should be considered with potential heart disease. People with heart disease are also likely to have diabetes, obesity, hypertension and smoking, all of which are other risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

 

MEDICATIONS:

 

Beta-blockers:

These medications are the biggest culprit that can interfere with sex after heart disease. They are used to lower blood pressure and for irregular heartbeats after open heart surgery.

The doctor could either switch the patient to a different medication, or he/she could try to adjust the drug’s dosage over time. Though an erectile dysfunction drug may help, but because of other medications, some men may not be able to take them.

 

MEDICATIONS FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION DRUGS:

Although there are some exceptions, but usually, phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as Tadalafil, Sildenafil and Vardenafil are ok. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors are considered safe for most men wishing to have sex after heart disease because they don’t increase heart attack or death rates. However, an exception is in men taking nitrates, which is a medication for angina, because large and sudden decrease in blood pressure may result from the combination of these two drugs.

 

These medications also enable them to perform activities that will tax the heart the way it hasn’t been before.

 

The patient may be offered alternatives in case erectile dysfunction medications don’t work, for instance:

 

  • Surgery, such as the surgical implantation of a prosthesis.
  • A vacuum-erection device, a plastic cylinder that draws blood into the penis, after which a ring is placed at the base of the penis.
  • Injections that patients give themselves 5 or 10 minutes before intercourse and that could last from 15 to 60 minutes.

 

DEPRESSION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES:

A lack of interest in sex may result in case men or women suffer from depression after a heart attack. However, sexual desire and function may also be affected by some antidepressants. Men with erectile dysfunction usually feel depressed, which decreases their desire to have sex after heart disease. However, these sexual problems could be managed with therapy to deal with psychological issues. Lifestyle changes could also help.

 

Men can help their hearts and sex lives when they decide to take steps to live healthier. Doctors recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day, or walking 10,000 steps a day because exercise increases blood flow everywhere, including the penis.

 

Heavy drinking could lower libido and lead to erectile dysfunction. Smoking constricts and damages the arteries, including those that go to the penis. On the other hand, losing weight can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

 

A person who has bypass surgery is different from a person who has a mild heart attack; because of this, patients need to talk to their doctors about their individual cases and have open and honest conversations.

 

Intercourse is psychologically as well as physically healthy and can have a protective effect on men’s health. So when someone has fears of having sex after heart disease, they just need to remember this fact.

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Prepared By: Dr. Mehyar Al-Khashroum
Edited By: Miss  Araz Kahvedjian




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