Sex After a Heart Attack

People with a history of heart attack need to make many adjustments in their lives, as this condition often requires significant changes pertaining to activity level and diet.

In many cases, the concern of subsequent heart attack may lead former patients to question activities that put an additional stress on their heart, including sexual activities. People who had been hit by a severe heart attack, usually report a decrease in sexual activity. This can bring a serious emotional consequence and cause significant relationship problems.

Is it Safe to Have Sex After a Heart Attack?

As always, your doctor should have the final say on this issue, but luckily, sexual activities after heart attack are safe in most cases and may even be beneficial for people who had heart attack. Sex is a satisfying way to lower the overall stress level. Because it burns a good deal of calories, it can also help to control your weight, which makes both your cardiologist and your spouse happy.

A research was carried out at Harvard and it proved that sex is safe on people with a history of severe heart attack. If you have an existing coronary heart problem and had one or a few heart attacks before, the chance of having a heart attack during and after sex is about 1 in 50,000. On the other hand, on people with healthy heart, the chance is much smaller, which is 1 in 500,000. Although the risk is ten times higher than people who never experienced heart attack, many doctors believe that the risk is still very small.

You should also take into account the possible benefits related with regular sexual activity. If you have heart attack before, making love to your spouse can feel rather uneasy and you should make sure it does not last. This also goes for other activities. While trying to get back to the original activity level, in whatever you do, you should start out carefully and slowly. Even for healthier people, sexual activity should begin slowly to provide an ample time for foreplay, which means you can gradually get your heart rate up. This way, you may eventually, find new intimacy between you and the partner. Even if there is a small risk of cardiovascular problems during the love making activity, it can be further minimized by the fact that regular sexual activity can increase your fitness level somewhat.

Sex as a Physical Activity

When you are planning to have regular sexual activity, you should take care to not increase your heart rate too abruptly as it can also make blood pressure jumps wildly. By being more careful, your heart will not work too hard. The physical activity is measured by METS (metabolic equivalents). METS can also be used to calculate the energy expended or the level of physical activity. One MET is comparable to energy used by a person who sits quietly. It means, people with 3.5 METS are performing an activity 3.5 times of the resting level. A slower and deliberate sexual activity may take about 2 METS, while a vigorous one may take 5 METS. A person who has a history of heart attack should start slowly from 1 MET and go up to 3 or 4 METS.

You shouldn’t be afraid to have sex, despite your heart condition, try to experiment with a number of different sexual positions to determine those that are comfortable for you and your partner. A good sexual position for people with heart problem shouldn’t include too much pressure on the breastbone, back and sides. Letting your partner on the top can initially be the safest position, as it reduces the heart’s workload. After you feel comfortable with this position, you can try other slightly more demanding positions. Try to communicate with you partner to discuss any issues and concerns. As always, if you feel that you can’t find a good answer to an issue, you should see your doctor to get an expert’s opinion.

One thing is certain when you plan to increase your physical activity routine after a heart attack, you should visit a Cardiac Rehabilitation centre. It is important to gradually to increase your fitness level in the safest way possible. A love making activity can be considered as an aerobic exercise. Any physical activity that is performed carefully and at moderate intensity can surely benefit those who had a heart attack. Because sex increases you heart rate, you need to perform adequate cardiac conditioning, depending upon your preferred level of activity. You may equate a moderate sexual activity with walking at a normal pace up a few flights of stairs. Although both may have similar benefits to your body, without doubt walking up the stairs is not as exciting.

How to Make Love Safely?

People with good fitness level tend to have more confidence when performing physical activities they enjoy, including love making. Also, you can enjoy a sexual intercourse better due to higher energy level. These are some quick tips to enjoy the love making activities without harming yourself.

1. Start out carefully and slowly.

2. Find a time when both of you are fully rested and relaxed, for example Sunday morning. Everyone has schedule and responsibilities, so you may need to plan with your partner to allocate a specific time.

3. Make sure you properly take the prescribed meds.

4. You shouldn’t make love immediately after a meal as your body needs time to digest the food.

5. Find a comfortable sexual position by making some experiments.

How Soon Should You Have Sex?

Although it has been scientifically confirmed that sex after a heart attack is perfectly safe, you should take a few extra precautions until your hearts has had an opportunity to heal and you recover completely. Most cardiologists will advise that you wait for approximately one month before initiating a light exercise, including sexual activity. Unfortunately, there are some cases of erectile dysfunction after the occurrence of heart attack. If it happens to you, you may need to see an andrologist to treat it, as this condition can become a barrier to re-establishing the healthy sex life. In addition, some blood pressure and heart medications can cause the loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.


You shouldn’t avoid sex after a heart attack and once you feel that you’ve recovered enough, ask permission from your doctor to perform light exercises and sexual activities. Sexual activity performed by people with heart attack is not only beneficial for their body but also their mind.

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