Heart Attack: Having Sex Again

Ask your healthcare provider when you can have sex again. In most cases, you can begin about 6 weeks after returning home. When you’re able to climb 2 flights of stairs or take a vigorous walk without angina, shortness of breath, or irregular heart rate, you’re probably ready.

Man and woman laughing.

Helpful hints

  • Know that your risk of having another heart attack during sex is very low. Talk with your healthcare provider about your personal risk and risk factors.

  • It may take a while before you want to have sex again. Your interest should return as your body heals.

  • When you’re ready for sex, choose a time when you feel relaxed and rested.

  • Take your time. Give yourself a chance to become aroused.

  • If your provider has prescribed nitroglycerine to be taken before sex, be sure to take it as directed.

  • Some medicines to aid with sexual performance or erectile dysfunction can be dangerous when combined with heart medicines. Talk with your healthcare provider before using such medicines.

  • Remember that sex is more than intercourse. Show affection with hugs, caresses, and kisses.

  • Some heart medicines can affect sexual arousal. If you have problems, talk with your provider.

  • Let your partner know your concerns. Feeling supported can make the move back into a sexual relationship much easier.

  • Ask your provider about sex counseling for you and your partner. Counseling can be focused on your personal needs and concerns. It can help ease anxiety.

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