Sex Safe for Heart & Stroke Patients

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Sex Safe for Heart & Stroke Patients

– Reported, January 23, 2012


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – If you have stable cardiovascular disease, it is more than likely that you can safely engage in sexual activity.

“Sexual activity is a major quality of life issue for men and women with cardiovascular disease and their partners. Unfortunately, discussions about sexual activity rarely take place in the clinical context,” quoted Glenn N. Levine, M.D., professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas was quoted as saying.

According to the American Heart Association, research has proved that more than 75% of cardiovascular patients experience some kind of difficulty sexually and 98% of these patients wish that their doctor would discuss it with them. Furthermore, only 15% actually initiated a discussion on the topic. Ironically the most frequent recommendation of professionals in the online Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association was that all patients should be evaluated by their physician or healthcare provider before resuming sexual activity, meaning a discussion must be had. Most patients will delay this discussion due to depression or anxiety, when in fact it is more than likely safe for them to engage sexually.

Other recommendations include regular physical activity. It can reduce complications related to sexual activity. Women should be counseled on the safety of birth control and pregnancy. Patients who experience symptoms at rest should not engage in sexual activity. Patients should be assessed to see if sexual dysfunction is related to underlying vascular or cardiac disease, anxiety, depression or other factors. Also, do not stop taking your doctor prescribed drugs for cardiovascular disease because they might be linked to sexual dysfunction. Drugs to treat erectile dysfunction are usually safe for men who have a stable condition and post-menopausal women can use estrogen that’s topically or vaginally inserted for the treatment of painful intercourse.

The risk of a cardiovascular related complication during sexual activity is miniscule. However, Glenn N. Levine, M.D., was quoted as saying, “Some patients will postpone sexual activity when it is actually relatively safe for them to engage in it. On the other hand, there are some patients for whom it may be reasonable to defer sexual activity until they’re assessed and stabilized.”

Source: Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, January 2012