Sex plays a significant part in many people’s lives, especially couples. After a heart attack, it is normal that both of you will have questions. While it is an important topic to discuss with the doctor, many patients feel embarrassed about asking such questions.
Sex is a mild to moderate activity that has effects on the heart. Sex causes the heart to work harder, increases heartbeat and blood flow, and boosts oxygen consumption. Read through this article to find out more about resuming sex after a heart attack.
When is the right time to resume sex after a heart attack?
As a significant part of cardiac rehabilitation, the heart should work a little harder sometimes. For this, there is no standard time set for a person to resume having sex because this depends on the severity of the attack and how you progress in the recovery phase.
For example, a person who has had a first heart attack that is not severe and used a stent immediately afterward may get back to sexual relations with a partner after some weeks.
On the other hand, a person who has undergone a massive heart attack and is recovering from heart failure may find intimacy too challenging and may take a couple of years to resume sexual relations.
Heart medications and sex pills.
The ability of the heart to adapt to the increased work rate is just the tip of the iceberg. Other factors that affect how the heart functions, like medical interactions, should also be considered.
Most men, especially older ones, may want to use sex-enhancing drugs such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis to prevent erectile dysfunction. Unluckily, these drugs interact with most of the medications for heart problems.
Drugs comprising of nitrates are usually prescribed to relieve chronic chest pains or angina brought by exertion. Because sex pills affect blood flow and nitrates also expand blood vessels, the two medications should not be mixed.
Other commonly prescribed drugs for heart diseases, like the ones used to lower blood pressure, also should not be used together with erectile dysfunction medications.
The role of the mind in resuming sex after a heart attack.
Psychological or emotional factors can also have a role in resuming sexual activity after cardiac arrest or heart failure. The horror of a new heart problem diagnosis may bring fear that engaging in sexual activity can cause another event of a heart attack.
Victims rarely ask about sex following a heart attack. They are more occupied by processing what has just occurred to them. The ideal way to approach these issues is by asking the medical expert handling your care.
The cardiac rehabilitation expert should inform you if there are issues of medications you need to consider or not. If you feel too anxious despite being assured that your heart can handle stress, reach out to a licensed counselor immediately.
Warning signs to stop having sex.
If you experience extreme shortness of breath, irregular breathing, or chest pain during sex, you should stop and relax. If symptoms persist, call 911.
It is normal to breathe harder and have faster heartbeats when doing any form of physical activity like sex, but if it looks unusual, it would be a sign to stop and reach out for help.
The ultimate consideration for resuming sex after a heart attack is comfort. People should wait until they complete the recovery phase and feel much comfortable having sex. As long as there are no signs of angina, victims can start exploring various levels of intimacy they feel comfortable with.
Finally, avoid mixing sex enhancement pills with heart disease medications. This can increase the chances of getting another attack since they both affect the blood systems.