Intimacy and Heart Disease: Your Emotions
have just learned that you have a heart problem, or have recently had a heart attack
heart surgery, you may be worried about your love life. You may wonder whether it
to have sex. You may also not want to be intimate right now. These can be normal feelings
after finding out you have a heart problem. Your healthcare provider can give you
instructions on when it is safe to resume sexual activity. In most cases, after a
attack or stent placement, it is often safe to resume sexual activity after about
After open heart surgery, you may need to wait 6 to 8 weeks. For some severe and rare
problems, your healthcare provider may advise waiting until your condition has stabilized.
Your healthcare provider can give you specific guidelines.
Your feelings are normal
people feel scared, depressed, angry, or sad when they have heart trouble. This is
normal. You may worry that your body will never be the same. You may be afraid for
future. You may even feel angry that this happened to you. These feelings can affect
your desire for sex. But with treatment for your heart problem and over time, your
interest in sex will most likely come back and you will be able to be intimate safely.
Check with your healthcare provider if you think your heart medicines are reducing
sexual desire. For most people, having sex should not harm your heart or cause a heart
attack. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have symptoms during sexual
Overcoming negative feelings
The first step toward overcoming negative feelings is knowing what is troubling you.
Start by trying to:
Acknowledge what you are feeling.
Be patient with yourself.
Talk with your partner about your feelings.
Talk about your desires and fears in a supportive setting.
Seek expert help as needed.