If you or your partner have ever experienced a heart attack, it can be one of the most frightening things out there. It is an event that puts everything in to perspective, and really demonstrates how fragile life can be.
For good reason many people are extremely cautious afterwards, and do not want to do anything that could put them at further risk for having another heart attack. One of the most common questions people have after surgery is if they can still have sex afterwards. If so, how long should they wait?
How Strenuous Is Sex on the Heart?
Most of us know that sex has some effect on our hearts, but we really don’t know to what extent it does. This is another reason why people are so tentative to go back to having sex after a heart attack as they don’t really know how much strain sex is having on their bodies.
While sex does put some strain on our body and our hearts, the good news is that in most cases this isn’t enough to cause a heart attack. Sex requires about the same amount of effort as it does to climb a couple flights of stairs or maybe a few, which is probably less strenuous than you thought.
Sex is very unlikely to trigger a heart attack, and recent studies confirmed these facts. One in particular studies over 500 individuals who had heart attacks, and over 80% of these individuals hadn’t had sex for at least 24 hours at the time of the heart attack. Good news for those who don’t want to risk dying during the act.
How Is Sex Related to Heart Attacks?
Sex and heart attacks are related because of how they are both affected by how our blood flows within our bodies. One of the major contributors to heart attacks is some sort of blockage or slowing of blood flow to the heart, to where it is unable to effectively pump blood.
This is related to sex because of how the body facilitates blood flow to the genitals during sex, causing tremendous sensation and of course the ability to get an erection in men. Without the proper blood flow to the penis, the man cannot get an erection, and obviously can’t have sex.
The body is able to facilitate blood to the proper areas of the body through the use of some signaling chemicals, in this case nitric oxide. This nitric oxide tells the body to open up blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow to the proper tissues.
This signaling chemical is important in the heart itself as well, as it is also responsible for opening up channels in the heart, allowing it to function optimally.
Basically, the two are related because of how they are affected by blood flow, and specifically a chemical called nitric oxide. Reduced blood flow is going to affect a man’s ability to gain an erection, and also means that the heart isn’t functioning optimally which can lead to serious health problems and even death.
Keeping an eye on how well you are performing in regards to your ability to gain and maintain erections can help to give you an idea as to how healthy your cardiovascular system is as well, as we know the two are closely related.
Do I Really Need to Talk to My Doctor About This?
If you recently suffered from a heart attack or recently have had some type of heart surgery, you absolutely need to talk to your doctor before you start having sex regularly again. While generally speaking it is ok to have sex after a heart attack, this advice is going to vary from individual to individual.
Depending on the severity of your heart attack or surgery, you may have to hold off on having sex longer than your average person would. If you were advised to limit other forms of physical activity, such as walking or jogging, you may have to limit your sexual activity as well.
Most people are able to start having sex again as little as one week after surgery, however some people may take weeks, even months to heal. Again speak to your doctor if you are uncertain to whether or not you are healthy enough to start having sex again.