Being diagnosed with heart disease is often the catalyst for numerous lifestyle changes — from your diet, to your exercise regime, to how you cope with stress. You’ll likely have several important conversations with your doctor about how you’ll need to readjust your life to improve your health in as many ways as possible.
With so many new precautions and concerns to consider, you may feel shy or foolish discussing your sex life with your doctor. However, a healthy sex life can be an important factor in your quality of life and it’s important to know when and how sexual activity is safe to resume after a heart disease diagnosis.
The American Heart Association recently released a statement that sex is probably a safe activity for heart disease patients, as long as they are stabilized. However, before jumping back into bed, there are a few precautions you may want to take.
How to Know if Sex is Safe After Your Heart Disease Diagnosis
Talk to Your Doctor
Your very first step before resuming sexual activity after a heart disease diagnosis should be to talk to your doctor. Try to have as candid of a conversation as possible about what to expect and what precautions to take. If you doctor suggests waiting a bit longer before having sex again, listen carefully to the reasoning and follow their suggestion.
Be Mindful of Medications
Some of the medications you’re taking for your cardiovascular symptoms could impact your sex drive or functionality. Remember that your heart health needs to be the priority and you should never skip a dosage because you’re concerned about side effects. Instead, talk to your doctor about your reaction to the medication to see if there is a potential alternative.
Ask About Additional Medications
Talk to your doctor about any additional medications you may be taking that could possibly cause problems in your recovery. While birth control or erectile dysfunction medications are probably safe, it’s always best to check with your doctor first before beginning any new medication.
Listen to Your Body
It’s always important to acknowledge how your body reacts in certain situations, but even more so when you are dealing with a heart disease diagnosis. While heart attacks rarely occur during sexual activity, any degree of chest pain should be taken seriously. If you experience sexual dysfunction after being diagnosed with heart disease, mention it to your doctor – it could be related to your heart disease diagnosis or simply a reaction to the stress of that situation.
Remember, even though you will probably be able to resume sexual activity once your heart disease is stable, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Make an appointment to talk to your doctor about the next steps.
Have more questions about heart disease and heart attacks? Check out our free download of 20 Questions to Ask Your Cardiologist.