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.