Sex after heart attack
Men and women are 30 and 40 percent more likely to avoid having sex in the year after a heart attack, fearing another episode, if they do not receive specific advice from their doctor on when to safely resume sexual activity, say researchers from the University of Chicago . In a study that began in 2007, researchers led by Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau interviewed 1,184 male and 576 female participants about their sexual activity before and after their heart attack, and what advice they recall getting from doctors. In a presentation this year to the American Heart Association, Dr. Lindau emphasized that doctors of heart patients should focus on treating the whole patient, and advice on a safe return to sexual activity should be provided as a matter of routine. Talking to heartwire, a section of the online magazine theheart.org, Dr. Lindau says her study shows “most heart attack patients are sexually active, but for the most part, physicians just aren’t discussing this topic with their patients after a heart attack.” Also, she notes, doctors are less likely to discuss sex with women patients than with men. So if you have had a heart attack and want to know when it’s safe to be intimate again with your partner, don’t be shy: Ask your doctor.