Nearly half of people in the United States have some form of cardiovascular disease, which ranges from high blood pressure to more serious issues like heart failure. If you fall onto the more serious end of this spectrum and you’re worried how it may affect your sex life, the answers may surprise you.
To shed some light about whether you should make adjustments to your sex life to accommodate your heart health, the team here at Advanced Cardiology Specialists pulled together three interesting points.
1. In many cases, sex is a good thing
Perhaps you’re a veteran of a heart attack or you have some other form of heart disease, such as an arrhythmia. For most people with heart disease, the news is good when it comes to your sex life — it can be good for you.
When you have heart disease, we often recommend changes in your diet that favor healthier foods, as well as exercise. Well, guess what? Sex is exercise.
To underscore the benefits of an active sex life, research suggests that men who have sex twice a week and women who report a satisfying sex life reduce their risks for heart attack.
Of course, it’s a good idea if you come to see us for a full evaluation so that we can give you the greenlight.
2. When to go easy on sex
Even though an active sex life may benefit heart disease, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have advanced congestive heart failure, you know that any form of exercise is near impossible. In fact, more than half of people with heart failure of all stages report that they have far less sex than they did before they were diagnosed (or none at all).
Still, sex is an important quality of life issue, so we suggest that you see us to review ways in which you can maintain a healthy sex life when you have a progressive heart issue like heart failure.
Another instance in which you might want to go a little easy on sex is immediately after a surgery. Whether you’ve had bypass surgery or we’ve implanted a pacemaker, waiting a few weeks until everything is healed is a good idea.
3. Sex and heart attacks
To emphasize some of the points we made above, the American Heart Association states that people rarely have heart attacks during sex, despite what Hollywood may have you believe. Sexual intercourse is a relatively short event and doesn't usually tax your heart all that much outside of a few minutes.
Of course, if you experience any chest pain during sexual activity, you should stop immediately and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
The bottom line is that having a heart issue usually doesn’t spell the end of your sex life. Quite the contrary — it may improve your cardiovascular health.
Of course, everyone’s situation is unique, so we’re happy to sit down with you to evaluate your heart health in terms of sexual activity. Get started by contacting our office in Mountain View, California, to set up an appointment.