Sex After A Heart Attack
Men who have experienced a heart attack are often concerned and anxious about having sex in the months and years following it. research has shown that sexual activity often decreases because of the fear that it may cause another heart attack, possibly leading to death.
Men also report higher levels of erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence) and decreased levels of sexual contact than prior to the attack. A heart attack is a dramatic event in anyone's real life and real life often comes as a complete shock. The changes such an even can have on the way you think and behave are often profound. In many cases, these changes are good and result in some positive life benefits. However, unfounded fears are counter-productive. So what should you do?
Be realistic. Seek out advice to any questions you have and get the information and advice from health care professional so that you can lead a full and successful life following a heart attack. But do you have to talk about your sex to someone you hardly know? Well, yes and no.
Following a heart attack, horny, healthy oldies professionals should know that you will want guidance on a number of issues and they should advice you on lifestyle, medications, exercise and the sex addict. The topic of sex can be a difficult subject for both the patient and medical staff and the subject is often avoided. Yet, it is vital that you get the information so that you can make a complete recovery - so ask.
Does one need to worry?
Think of it this way. Sex, in general, puts the same amount of pressure on the heart as a brisk twenty-minute walk, and the the better orgasm diet adds up to a walk up the stairs. Statistics suggests that only one percent of heart attacks are triggered by sexual activity. If you have had a heart attack and have made lifestyle changes that lead to a healthier you, then the odds should go even further in your favour! Do you stop going up the stairs or going for a brisk walk because you have a one percent chance of gain one organ lose another heart attack? No you do not.
Exercise is good for the heart and sexual activity is just another form of exercise. So, contrary to some men's fears, regular sexual activity actually protects against death, especially death resulting from heart attack.
How long should one wait before having sexual intercourse following a heart attack?
This will depend on the severity of the heart attack. Tests will have been done prior to your discharge from hospital as to the cause and extent of damage to the heart. A progressive structure of exercise and advice on any changes to diet, such as fat reduction, weight loss or low salt, quitting smoking, and a regime of medication, will also have been advised. The only way to find out specifics from your doctor is by asking questions. This is especially true about sex. Most doctors will say that as long as no adverse symptoms such as breathlessness or chest pains are experienced on exertion (climbing stairs, a brisk walk), resuming sexual activity will be safe.
What if I do get chest pains or breathlessness?
If you do find that you get chest pains (angina) or breathlessness, then you should discuss it with your doctor. He/she may suggest you take medication such as sublingual glyceryl tri nitrate. It could, of course, also be that your anxiety and fear are causing the symptoms and if this is the case then supportive advice should alleviate your worries. If you still experience problems then the doctor should refer you for more specialist help.
If you are suffering from co-existent erectile dysfunction (ED), you will need to see your andrologist. He might want to medicate you with one or more of the newly available wonder drugs like Viagra R, Levitra R, or Cialis R for your ED. Please remember, however, that it you are on nitrates for your heart disease it can be dangerous to take these drugs. With good medical follow up and support there should be no reason why you should not return to a full sex life.
Two closing thoughts
Cardiologist Dr Graham Jackson has
found that seventy-five percent of death that do
occur during sexual
intercourse are in people having extramarital affairs and in men who are much older than their sexual partners!
So watch out, you naughty boys! It seems that you might have to choose where you want all your blood to go-to your heart, or 'that part'.
Take Home Message:
Shortly after the launch of Viagra R in March 1998, there was some unfounded initial concern about its safety in some patient populations, especially in those with co-existent heart disease. Some adverse reports began to appear in the media about side -effects and deaths in some patients who had taken Viagra R. A fear psychosis of sorts was generated. Soon, however, the US FDA stepped in, and the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Urological Association (AUA), and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) were called in to investigate these 'side effects' and 'deaths'. The investigation revealed that most of these adverse reactions were caused not by the drug per seminal at all, but by careless patients and doctors who did not follow the prescription guidelines, safety precautions, and warning labels. Those taking nitrates and others who were not supposed to be taking Viagara R at all in the first place advice, and some prescriptions had been issued by unscrupulous practitioners through the internet without even examining the patient's medical history.
The current position on this subject is available in the Princeton consensus Conference Statements (Guidelines ) I and II. The safety/ risk aspects of the relationship between heart disease, sex and the new PDES inhibitor drugs are discussed in great detail .
It is now known that many cardiac patients with heart disease and erectile dysfunction can use these new drugs safely to obtain better erections and enjoy a satisfactory sex life
Patients and doctors should both learn to feel more comfortable discussing this subject.