June 6, 2010
Getting back into a normal routine after a heart attack is challenging for most people. Many patients have several new pills to take everyday, a new diet to follow and the stress of daily questions like: “When can I go back to work?” “How much activity can I do?” “When do I need to see the doctor?” The list goes on and on because living with heart disease requires daily adjustments towards a new, healthier heart. Frequently though, people forget…or hesitate…to ask about returning to sexual activity. A new study shows that cardiologists are just as bad sometimes about letting people know when it is okay to have sex after a heart attack. Apparently less than half of people remember receiving any advice from their doctor about this private yet vital topic. Both doctors and patients seem to wait for the other to bring up the subject!
So, the lingering question here is probably, “When is it okay to have sex after a heart attack?” In general it’s okay to resume regular activities once you are feeling better and are able to do moderate exercise without difficulty. If you have signs of chest discomfort or worsening shortness of breath with exertion, discuss these symptoms with your cardiologist before resuming sexual activity.