Sex Life and Heart Disease

Readjusting everyday activities can be challenging for heart disease patients. You may doubt about doing anything: Should I eat this chicken sandwich? Can I play with the dogs? Can I go back to work? And among these questions is, “Will my heart disease affect my sex life?” or “Is it safe for me to have sex?”

Fortunately, according to health experts, sex is actually no harder than climbing a couple of staircases or brisk walking four to five blocks. As a matter of fact, patients get the go signal from their cardiologist a few weeks after they have completed the treatment.

Still, the health condition makes people feel afraid to resume to being intimate with their partners. But if you keep these heath tips in mind, you can go back to snuggling again in no time.

1. Get screened
Get checked by a good cardiac doctor for treating heart disease in a reputable clinic based from Singapore. Ask your heart doctor to perform a stress test, or also called the treadmill test. You will be asked to work out on an equipment like a treadmill or a stationary bike, while your specialist examines the performance of your cardiovascular system with the aim to detect early signs of heart problems.

• You will know firsthand how much physical activity you can do
• If your partner accompanies you to the screening, they will see for themselves how much activity you can do and be aware of your physical strength.
• Your doctor can determine whether you should be prescribed with some type of cardio rehab, which can double as fitness check for more strenuous activities, or require further heart screening tests.

2. Don’t ignore chest pains
Episodes of chest pains a few minutes or hours after an intercourse are a common symptom experienced by people with coronary artery disease. However, attacks after intercourse accounts to no more than five percent of all cases of heart attacks. It is an extremely rare case for patients with heart disease who can routinely exercise without feeling any chest discomfort.

But just to be safe, let your doctor know about any chest discomfort you have experienced after performing any strenuous physical activity.

3. Get romantic at the comforts of your home
After a heart treatment is not the best time to get experimental. First off, it is not advisable to have sex in a place you are not used to. And if you are not married yet or in a monogamous relationship, try sticking with the same partner. Being in a new place or with a new partner can only add more stress.

Also, avoid drinking alcohol or having heavy meal beforehand. Both can affect your heart activity and blood flow. If you think you need to take some drugs for erectile dysfunction, make sure to ask your cardiologist. Taking nitrates to control chest pains and tadalafil (Cialis) or sildenafil (Viagra) at the same time can be fatal. So, as a rule of thumb: never take any drug without your doctor’s approval.

4. Relax and just take it slow
Don’t worry too much. The chances of possible heart attack while having sex are pretty low. If you are unsure how much action you can endure, start out slow. Caressing and cuddling may be a safer way to start. Feel your heart beat and listen to your body. As long as there are no symptoms, progress slowly.

Also, make your partner aware of your concerns. Since he or she already knows your health status, your partner will understand your thoughts, emotions and actions towards lovemaking.

5. Use intimacy as de-stressor
Sex is natural, and it is an important part of a romantic relationship. Studies even show that lack of intimacy can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. When you get intimate with your partner, you focus all your attention and energy to one person, which is one of the ways the act lowers your stress levels. For heart patients who can handle mild exercises and doesn’t feel pain while doing so, sexual activity is definitely safe for them.

6. Be honest to your doctor
Most heart patients feel shy about asking when they can start being intimate again with their partners, and many doctors as well do not freely give that information. However, we suggest taking advantage of the chance and ask your specialist from Singapore while you are still in the clinic to screen for heart conditions. Just because your cardiologist does not open up anything about sex after being diagnosed with hypertension doesn’t mean you are not yet allowed to be intimate with your spouse again. Have the courage to open up the subject with your heart doctor. If having sex is part of your norm, then all the more you need to inquire about it.

7. It’s normal to be not in the mood
After a heart treatment, it is normal to feel cautious and to experience low sex drive. As long as you have the approval of your cardiologist, you can start working on regaining your desire slowly. If it has been long enough and you still can’t get back on track, discuss this with your heart specialist. Depression is a common underlying cause of low sex drive after a heart treatment. If you are diagnosed by such, your heart doctor may recommend a good cardiology center in Singapore or recommend counselling to help re-establish a fulfilling love life.

Sex is normal, and it is safe for the majority of patients diagnosed with heart disease, but experts advise that you still have to get heart screening tests, especially after a cardiac event. People with higher risks, such as those with high blood pressure, advanced heart failure, unstable angina and other health conditions should minimize or even avoid sexual intercourse until they are adequately treated.

Make sure to work through the emotional challenges brought by your heart condition. Work hand-hand-in-hand with your partner to maintain healthy intimacy even after your heart treatment. Good communication—with your best cardiologist and your spouse—is the key here.

Psychiatrist vs. Psychologist – What’s the Difference?

Today’s fast-paced world can be hard to keep up with, regardless of whether you are a professional or a student, or whether you’re married or single. The increased amount of stress of living today can affect a person’s mental health, which could compound pre-existing mental health disorders.

As such, taking care of your mental health is important, and you should seek professional help if any concerns should arise. There are two types of specialists trained in diagnosing and treating these types of problems and disorders: the psychologist and the psychiatrist.

Psychologists and psychiatrists often work together in a psychology center to improve patient’s well-being and have many similarities between their fields, and these fields can even overlap at times. However, there are also many crucial differences between them, one of the biggest being the nature of their treatment and their areas of specialization.

Education and Treatment
The biggest difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist in Singapore, and this applies across the world, is their educational background.

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has had at least one year of medical internship, and has completed the minimum required years of residency when it comes to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health disorders.

A psychiatrist’s treatment is more technical in nature, as the evaluation of the patient’s mental condition usually includes the prescription of medicines, such as antidepressants, in order to treat diagnosed chemical imbalances in the patient’s brain.

Meanwhile, a recommended child psychologist in Singapore has a doctorate in the field of psychology, which is the study of the human mind and human behavior. Unlike a psychiatrist, a recommended psychologist is trained more towards giving different psychological tests, from IQ to personality tests.

Marriage counselling is typically the domain of a psychologist, although if the source of the tension is some mental disorder in one party, a psychiatrist will have to be involved. The best psychologist is one who also has a background on psychiatry.

The key difference to note here is that while both psychologists and psychiatrists specialize in the mental well-being of a patient, the latter is the one that gives medications to treat mental illness, while the former treats a client with regular counseling.

Whom Should You Consult?
While it can be difficult to choose, one thing to take note is that symptoms of severe mental illness that can evidently affect a person’s motor skills and functionality should warrant a consultation with a psychiatrist. Typically, for clients looking for marriage counselling, the services of psychologist should be sought, not that of a psychiatrist.

Neurochemical imbalances in an individual’s brain can either be genetic or caused by other factors, which cannot be fixed only by changes in behavioral patterns. These serious mental conditions require medication that can only be prescribed by a psychiatrist.

In situations where a person’s mental health is not clearly compromised enough that an individual is still physically able to do their daily tasks, a psychologist is probably the better choice. This is because there is a likely chance that a person’s problem is behavioral in nature and may only need regular counseling to correct, not drugs. For children with behavioural problem, a child psychologist is the best professional to consult.

More on Psychologists and Counseling
Psychologists focus on psychological treatment. They study how a person thinks and behaves, as well as why a person would think or act a person thinks and acts. They examine the causes of said thought processes and behaviors as well as the different environmental factors that can influence how these behaviors can manifest.

Psychologists are more inclined to see people that can be effectively helped with this kind of treatment. Your psychologist, then, is the best person capable of handling problems in your or your partner’s behavior and how certain behavioral instances can be corrected.

When it comes to disputes that have already affected the relationship between married couples to a significant degree, relationship counselling is usually the best recourse that the couple can take in order to resolve both past and current grievances that they wish to address.

Relationship Counselling: What it is and What to Expect
In Singapore, relationship counselling, also called couples therapy, may not be an experience that you look forward to. The idea of therapy itself can be terrifying to you and be even more terrifying when you’re doing it with another person.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Going to psychology center and undergoing relationship counselling is in many ways beneficial to you and your partner, with the initial dread dispelled once you go through the ordeal. In some instances, couples even leave the therapy sessions with a renewed intimacy and a better willingness to be more open and understanding towards their partner. In some cases where there has been prolonged emotional tension, and even some psychological abuse, it may also be necessary to send the couple’s children to a child psychologist.

To start, you don’t need a referral to be able to schedule an appointment, nor should you bring anything. The first session is where the ground rules and boundaries are usually set, where you and your partner can talk with the therapist about confidentiality, as well as other policies, be it on the methodologies used or on cancelling appointments.

Once all this is covered, the psychologist will generally take a brief history from you and your partner that covers the issues and problems that led you to counseling. For instance, these questions could sound like:

• What issues have you experienced/are you experiencing in your relationship?
• When (and how) did these issues start becoming a problem?
• What steps have you and your partner taken to resolve these issues?
• What are your expectations about marriage counselling?

Sessions are typically conducted as a combination of different tasks, from setting you and your partner up to feel comfortable, to developing trust with the psychologist. Professional and ethical counselors or psychologists will take steps to make sure that any sensitive issues that may be difficult to discuss can be done so safely and comfortably.