Heart disease is the number one cause of death of men and women in North America. Surviving a heart attack should be considered fortunate and it becomes very important to ensure that all your risk factors to heart disease are under control. Patience becomes very important and wanting to get back to your regular routine takes a little bit of time – this includes sexual intercourse.
Making love to your partner can feel uneasy and it becomes important to understand that this does not last. This goes for commencing most activities. It is important to start out slowly and working your way back to your where you would like to be. Starting out slowing allowing adequate time for foreplay, so you can get your heart rate up gradually. This also helps to find that intimacy between you and your partner. It is known that there is a small tiny risk of a cardiovascular event occurring during sexual activity and this risk is minimized by focusing on your risk factors to heart disease which includes increasing your fitness level.
When you engage in sex it does make your heart work harder by increasing your heart rate and by increasing your blood pressure, however the work on your heart is not as hard as many people think. When we look at any physical activity we gauge this measure in METS which stand for metabolic equivalents. METS are a unit in which we use to calculate the level of physical activity or energy expended. One MET is the energy it takes to sit quietly. Therefore, if walking takes 3.5 METS this means that you are going 3.5 times your resting level. Sexual intercourse can take anywhere from 2 METS to 4.5 METS, therefore starting out slowly is important.
There is no need to be afraid of sex because of your heart condition. Experiment with different sexual positions to determine which ones feel comfortable and which ones are not. Finding that position so it does not put so much pressure on your breastbone (on your back for men or side to side). You can let your partner be on top and this will reduce the workload on your heart during sex. It is important to have open communication with your partner to discuss any concerns. As always you can always discuss concerns you have with your physician.
One thing I guarantee is that when you start to commence your exercise routine with your Cardiac Rehabilitation centre, you will increase your fitness level. When your fitness level increases you gain more confidence to perform activities you enjoy doing such as making love to your partner. You will have increased energy and an increased fitness level to enjoy the pleasure of sexual intercourse. Some quick tips to ensure you enjoy making love after a heart condition:
1. Start out slowly 2. Find a time of the day when you feel relaxed and rested. Everyone has scheduled days and we all have responsibilities but find that time to free yourself and devote to you and your partner. 3. Make sure that your medications are taken and prescribed by your physician. 4. Try not to make love right after a meal. Allow time to digest your food. 5. Experiment and do find those comfortable sexual positions.
Love making is a fun activity and should be enjoyable and stress free. In the event you are having concerns please discuss them with your physician or psychologist. As said previously it is important to get yourself enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation where you will learn all your risk factors to heart disease and start to commence an overall heart healthy lifestyle and do the activities you enjoy doing most.