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Resuming Sex After a Heart Attack or Stroke

By HERWriter
 
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Sexual Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Suffering a heart attack or stroke can be a life-threatening experience. But it doesn’t have to mean the end of the patient’s sex life. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), after the first phase of recovery is over, patients find the same forms of lovemaking they enjoyed before are still rewarding.

The myth that sex will definitely cause another attack is just that, a myth.

In a SexualHealth article, Robert N. Butler, M.D., professor of geriatrics and adult development at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York said, "Sexual activity has not been found to be a factor in causing a stroke; it also doesn’t cause more damage in those who have had a stroke."

The first thing heart attack and stroke patients need to do before resuming their sex lives is get approval from their doctor. It shouldn’t be an awkward conversation as it’s a very common concern.

About.com said some doctors require patients to pass a heart stress test, a timed period of exercise on a treadmill or stationary bicycle, before giving the go-ahead.

HeartHealthyOnline.com reported if you can comfortably walk a quarter-mile or climb two flights of stairs, you can have sex again. For most people, that’s within a few days of a heart attack. After a severe coronary, you might have to wait two weeks.

The AHA also offers the following guidelines for those patients interested in resuming their sex lives:
-Choose a time of day that is stress-free and when you're relaxed and rested.
-Wait one to three hours after a meal to allow time for digestion.
-Pick a familiar, tranquil setting.
-Take prescription medications before sex.
-Immediately report any chest pain or dizziness during sex to your doctor.

Resuming a healthy sex life after heart attack or stroke is not without its challenges. And more often than not, those are psychological. Gerald W. Neuberg, M.D., cardiologist and director of the Intensive Care Unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Allen Pavilion told HeartHealthyOnline, “Probably the biggest barrier to sexual activity after a heart attack is psychological, resulting from the anxiety that naturally follows a major medical illness.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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