Having a safe sex with cardiovascular disease

There are several ways that love could be shown among couples including making love. Nevertheless, sudden death during sexual intercourse occasionally happens due to cardiovascular disease, especially in case of undiagnosed or overlooked conditions.

Most people might wonder whether patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease could have a safe sexual activity. Find out our answer from expert cardiologist here.

“As long as the patients are able to safely climb stairs for 3 floors without being tired or shortness of breath, the patients could have sex safely.” Although, during having sexual intercourse, heart rate increases quickly up to 120 beats/min, this period typically lasts only for 1 minute shortly before having orgasms.

Lifestyle modification is crucially important to reduce risks of developing aggravating symptoms. Appropriate exercise and activities could be greatly advised by cardiologists in order to prevent strenuous activity which might overwork the heart. Warning signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease generally include palpitation, racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, sudden and severe chest pain, severe fatigue or weakness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sweating and fainting (syncope) or near fainting.

After sexual activities, if abnormal signs and symptoms exhibit, it is highly recommended to fully rest in bed without moving and walking. In case that movement is needed, it must be slowly done. Medical attention must be sough immediately if symptoms do not improve.

More importantly, patients with cardiovascular disease should strictly avoid using substances that cause arousal or sexual desire, certain drugs such as Viagra (Sildenafil), alcoholic beverages and unusual sex positions. Particularly in patients who recently underwent heart surgery, special advices given by cardiac specialists for activities and exercise are vital in order to maintain heart function appropriately. Additionally, couples could help noticing any abnormal manifestations. If any warning signs are suspected, immediate care is urgently required.

Paying your attention to your heart

Even though regular exercise greatly improves health status, exercise in patients with cardiovascular disease needs special guidelines to avoid heart to work excessively. To keep heart healthy, our recommendations are: 

  1. Eat properly: Excessive dietary salt consumption over time can increase risk of high blood pressure, which is a major aggravating factor for heart disease. To reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease, it is highly recommended to avoid eating salty food and limit salt intake per day since the excess salt causes the body to retain water and subsequently, the heart has to overwork.
  2. Exercise appropriately: During exercise, heart muscles usually work twice harder than arm and leg muscles. In patients with cardiovascular disease, mild exercise is preferably suggested e.g. walking and bicycle riding.
  3. Rest sufficiently: Adequate rest plays a major role to improve general health. Recent researches indicate that 20% people of middle age group aged between 24-32 have developed high blood pressure. Although, no aggravating signs typically present, this substantially increases risks of sudden cardiac death or heart attack at anytime. Recommended amount of sleep is 6-8 hours per day. Sleep insufficiency tends to develop several health-related conditions including cardiovascular disease.
  4. Taking good care of mental health: Excessive stress should be properly managed. Chronic stress puts heart at risk by activating the release of cortisol, the primary stress hormone which increases sugars in the bloodstream and blood pressure as well as induces irregular heartbeat. Prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of cortisol in the bloodstream, resulting in blood vessels to constrict and impaired ability to supply blood throughout the body. To reduce stress hormone, meditation and regular yoga every week for 3 consecutive months might help to manage excessive stress and enhance blood circulation.