Let’s face it, sex gets your heart pumping. But if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease or suffered a heart attack, getting your heart pumping isn’t always a good thing. Rest assured though that being diagnosed with a heart condition or having a heart attack doesn’t necessarily mean a life of abstinence.
Despite concerns, you can most likely resume sexual activity with no problems. In fact, the American Heart Association says sex is fine as early as one week after a heart attack. That’s as long as you’re in stable condition and can perform moderate physical activity, such as climbing stairs, without any symptoms. And while you may be embarrassed to talk with your doctor about resuming sexual activity after a heart event, it is very important to do so to decide when the activity is right for you.
Typically sex usually doesn’t last long enough to harm the heart. But tell your doctor right away if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat or dizziness during sex. These symptoms—along with insomnia and fatigue—can signal worsening heart health.
Here are some helpful hints that might just help you get in the mood:
- Start out slowly and give yourself time to feel ready. Try hugging, kissing, touching or caressing at first. They help you both feel close and wanted.
- Choose a quiet, relaxed place to be intimate. Keep the temperature in the room comfortable.
- Choose a time when you both feel rested. Try when you wake up in the morning or after taking a nap.
- Wait at least one hour after eating, taking a bath or shower, or exercising before you have sex.
- Stay away from alcohol and tobacco. They can impair sexual performance.
- Exercise regularly. It can strengthen your heart and help you feel better overall.
- If your doctor has prescribed medication to be taken before sex, take it as directed.
- Tell your doctor if you feel depressed or notice side effects from your medication.
Looking for more information? Read more.