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June 5, 2012

By L. Carr, Contributing Columnist

You´ve had a heart attack. Suddenly your life is turned
upside-down. Your outlook on life – and death – has
changed. The things that mattered before seem less
important now. You used to enjoy a great sex life but now
the idea of making love fills you with fear. Will sex cause
another heart attack? Many famous people are believed to
have died during sex, from Errol Flynn, to Governor Nelson
Rockeller and even former French President Felix Faure.
But none of these cases has been proved. But can sex
really kill you? Will you ever feel comfortable being
intimate again? Can sex help you recover from a heart

Every 34 seconds someone in America suffers a heart
attack, according to the American Heart Association. And
around half of all heart attack victims survive, so says the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these
survivors will have been sexually active before their
nightmare experience. Is sex still safe after you´ve had a
heart attack? Doctors generally advise patients to avoid
sexual intercourse for four to six weeks after a heart
attack to give one of your most important organs time to
heal. But after a month or two, why should you have sex
-- or why shouldn´t you?

We have complied the existing medical studies pro and con
about sex after a heart attack. Here is the Top 10 list:

Sex Doesn´t Dramatically Raise Your Risk of a Second
Heart Attack

Despite when we´ve seen in the movies and series like
Mad Men, sexual activity is not strongly linked with heart
problems. Only around 0.6 percent of sudden cardiac
deaths are related to sexual activity, according to a review
of medical trials by the University of Southern California,
The Heart Institute, in 2006. Think of sex like exercise – if
your doctor has cleared you for gentle physical activity
then you´re cleared for sexual activity too. You´re unlikely
to have a heart attack and die while having sex, so don´t
worry about giving your partner psychological problems.

Sex Can Cut the Risk of a Second Heart Attack

Even better news is that sex could cut your risk of a
second heart attack. This is according to a 2002 study
from the Department of Social Medicine, University of
Bristol, UK. The researchers found that the more sex you
have is not linked to an increased risk of stroke or heart
attack. In fact, the men surveyed who had sex at least
twice a week were 50 percent less likely to have a fatal
heart attack.

Sex Improves Intimacy After a Heart Attack

When as a couple you’ve gone through a traumatic event
like a heart attack you may find you need to re-establish
loving bonds and a sense of intimacy after all the medical
tests and treatment. A diagnosis of heart problems or a
heart attack can cause you to feel old, less attractive and
less sexy than you did before. Scars may embarrass you
and the memory of the heart attack can cause lingering

Depression is very common after a heart attack. Don´t be
rushed into resuming your sex life. But sex can help you
bond with your partner at a time when you most need to
be intimate.

Having sex increases your levels of the hormone oxytocin,
which helps us build trust, intimacy and generosity.
According to a 2005 study from the University of
Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina that looked
at 59 premenopausal women, the more intimate contact
they had with their partners the higher their oxytocin

Sex Reduces Pain Following a Heart Attack

And at the same time your body is flooded with oxytocin,
so too do your endorphins rocket and levels of pain can
subside. You may be still suffering the aftereffects of
operations and medication, so sex may help ease your pain
symptoms. Forty-eight people in a 1996 study by JM
Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy inhaled oxytocin
vapor then had their fingers pricked. Their pain threshold
increased by over 50 percent.

Sex Lowers Stress and Blood Pressure After a Heart

One great health benefit of sex is its ability to help lower
lower blood pressure and reduce stress. According to a
2004 study from the University of Paisley, Scotland, those
participants who had recently had sex had a better
response to stressful situations like speaking in public than
those you had been intimate without sex or had abstained.
Stress is linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular
disease, according to studies such as the 2012 paper from
University College London, UK. Short term stress can
trigger cardiac events such as heart attack in people who
have advanced atherosclerosis – if you have already had a
heart attack you are likely to suffer from this condition so
lowering emotional stress levels is beneficial.

Sex is a Beneficial Form of Exercise After Your Heart

Your doctors will tell you that as well as following a
healthy diet you need to get physically active in order to
make sure you don´t suffer a second heart attack. And the
American Heart Association says you should get enough
moderate exercise so you expend at least 200 kcal a day.

Who says you can´t get your exercise through sex?
According to a 2006 study by the University of Southern
California Heart Institute “sexual intercourse can be
regarded as physical activity resulting in increased blood
pressure and heart rate, which is not decisively different
from other physical exercise in daily life.”

Sex is active and it burns calories as part of an overall
physical activity program. And it helps. According to a
2000 study from the University of Texas people who
increased their activity levels following a heart attack had a
78 percent lower chance of repeating the experience and
an 89 percent lower risk of dying from it. (Read more
whether sex is a good exercise.)

Be Careful Using Viagra After a Heart Attack

If you used to take erectile dysfunction drugs such as
Viagra before your heart attack, don´t automatically
continue taking them after your heart attack. These types
of drugs interact badly with nitroglycerin, a drug that
many of you will be taking to relieve angina or chest pains.

According to the FDA a cocktail of the two drugs can cause
your blood pressure to  plummet and you will feel dizzy,
faint and sick. The mix could even cause death. Check with
your doctor before you take any new medication.  

Be Careful When Having Sex After a Heart Attack

There´s a fine line between being careful and worrying
when you have sex after a heart attack. You don´t want to
be anxious as this can ruin the moment. So try and relax,
take things slowly for the first few times and don´t panic if
you get hot and sweaty.

But just like with any other form of exercise you should
watch out for symptoms of chest pain, unexplained
fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath (outside of the
regular when you´re having sex) or palpitations. If you
feel sick, stop. But otherwise, continue to enjoy sex and
intimacy with your partner and reap many health benefits
in the process.

Related Links:
Is Sex a Good Exercise?
How Extreme Exercise Can Hurt Your Heart
How to Prevent a Second Heart Attack
Bulking Up Too Fast -Top 5 Health Dangers
How to Clean Your Penis
Foods That Strengthen Erectile Performance
Normal Penis Size
Penis Discharge Color Chart
Bad Bed Habits That Turn Her Off
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Low Testosterone?-Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

The 10 Wealthiest Zip Codes in America

What Is Barack Obama's Net Worth?
Actor David Carradine, famous for
playing Kung Fu, is believed to have
died while having sex
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