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Overview

The following are general guidelines for returning to sexual activity after a you have had a heart event or a heart procedure. These guidelines are meant to inform you of typical recommendations, but it is always best to ask your doctor when it is okay for you to resume sexual activity.

After a heart attack, it’s probably safe to resume sexual activity sooner than might be expected. Most often, sexual activity can be resumed in a matter of weeks or months, depending on the patient’s individual situation.

After a heart attack,
how soon can I have sex again?

Your cardiologist will give you the best answer to this question and you should always ask before resuming sexual activity. The doctor will likely run tests to see how well your heart responds to certain tasks, like climbing stairs, walking at a certain rate, or riding a stationary bike.

Some patients can go back to sex a week afterward. Other doctors recommend that patients wait four to six weeks.

When should I avoid sex?

If you have chest pains, shortness of breath, light headedness, an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), uncontrolled high blood pressure, or advanced heart failure, you should ask your doctor if sex is safe for you.

If you have chest pains during sex, stop the sexual activity immediately. Talk to your doctor before having sex again.

If my doctor advises me to restrict sexual activity for a while, what can my partner and I do??

It can be frustrating to hold back on sex because of a heart attack. But that doesn’t mean you and your partner can’t be intimate. You can still kiss, hug, and touch each other. Try giving each other a sensual massage or take a relaxing bath together.

Your doctor might suggest that you have sex less often or tone down the intensity. Try not to be disappointed. Take your time and enjoy being with your partner. Consider this time an opportunity to try new things maybe new positions or oral sex.

Talk with Your Healthcare providers

Every patient’s situation is unique, and guidelines simply provide general recommendations for what is right for some people. It is always a good idea to speak openly with your healthcare providers about your condition and how it may affect resuming sexual activity, including any concerns or questions you or your partner may have.

Don’t be too shy to ask your cardiologist or sexologist about this or related issues. You’re not the first to wonder if and when it’s safe to resume sex after heart problems.

Your doctor is the best person to advise you on sex after a heart attack. For many people, talking about sex, especially with a healthcare professional, seems intimidating and awkward. But don’t let that stop you. If your doctor sets limits, it’s important to know exactly what they are. And if you can have sex without restrictions, you might feel less anxious, making sex more enjoyable for both you and your partner
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