Heart disease and sexuality

Men with cardiovascular disease - especially after a heart attack - often fear that intercourse could overload the diseased heart. In addition, there are some depressions or the fear to fail during intercourse.

Cardiovascular disease as the cause of sexual dysfunction

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of sexual dysfunction. Affected patients are burdened multiple times:

  • on the one hand by the mental stress of the heart disease
  • a reduced physical performance and the associated lifestyle limitations
  • as well as your own fears.

It is therefore important to inform yourself about the disease and the right way of life and to regularly take the necessary medication.

Sexual problems weigh on the partnership

Problems with sexuality due to heart disease often cause a kink in self-esteem in men. Many patients, especially after a heart attack, also voluntarily restrict their sexual life. The physical "performance" in lovemaking is overestimated by most people. Normal sexual intercourse is generally no more stressful for the heart than going up three or four floors or ten minutes snow shoveling. "If you resume activities such as running or driving after a heart attack, you can be sexually active again, " states the guidelines of the renowned American Heart Association .

A doctor's visit brings clarity

But who is uncertain whether he is already fit enough for the partner after a heart attack, can be through his doctor, for example, with a stress ECG check the performance of the heart. Incidentally, palpitations, heavy breathing or sweating after sex are quite normal. Only when pain comes to it or the changes last longer than 15 minutes, you should be careful and soon seek a conversation with the doctor. He helps with the correct assessment of the complaints.

Medications can affect sexuality

Sometimes, however, drugs are guilty that the desire for sex is missing or the stamina in the man subsides. Heart patients usually need to take one or more medications at a time to improve exercise capacity or reduce the risk of serious complications. However, some medicines for the treatment of heart disease - diuretics, but also antidepressants and especially the so-called beta-blockers - can reduce the potency and sexual desire. In case of uncertainty, the patient should discuss his situation with the doctor.

Beware of sexual enhancers!

Men who help with medications with potency, do not live quite safe. The combination with certain cardiac drugs, such as nitrates, can lead to a drop in blood pressure. If the blood pressure is too low, the heart will not be adequately supplied with blood. Patients with very severe cardiovascular disease, such as unstable angina pectoris or severe heart failure with symptoms already at rest, are advised not to use erectile dysfunction medications for which sexual activity is discouraged.


Heart disease patients do not automatically have to renounce sexuality. The fear of overtaxing the heart through sexual activity is unfounded in most cases. Even if physical or mental problems limit the love life, one should not renounce caresses in a relationship.

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