heart disease and sexuality

heart disease and sexuality

Men with cardiovascular disease – especially after a heart attack – often fear that sexual intercourse could overload the diseased heart. In addition, there is sometimes depression or the fear of failing during sexual intercourse.

Cardiovascular diseases as a cause of sexual dysfunction

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of sexual dysfunction. Affected patients are burdened in several ways:

  • on the one hand, due to the psychological stress of heart disease
  • Reduced physical performance and the associated restrictions on lifestyle
  • and your fears.

Therefore, It is essential to learn about the disease and the right way of life and to take the necessary medication regularly.


Sexual problems put a strain on the partnership.

Problems with sexuality due to heart disease often lead to a kink in men’s self-esteem. Many patients limit their sex life voluntarily, especially after a heart attack. Most people overestimate the physical “performance” of lovemaking. Regular intercourse is generally no more taxing on the heart than walking up three or four stories or shovelling snow for ten minutes. “Resuming activities such as walking or driving after a heart attack can also be a good time to be sexually active again,” according to the guidelines of the renowned American Heart Association.

A visit to the doctor brings clarity.

But if you are unsure whether you are fit enough for your partner again after a heart attack, you can have your doctor check your heart’s performance with a stress ECG, for example. By the way, palpitations, heavy breathing or sweating after sex are pretty standard. If pain occurs or the changes last longer than 15 minutes, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. It helps with the correct assessment of the complaints.


Medications can affect sexuality.

Sometimes, however, medication is also to blame for the lack of desire for sex or a man’s stamina. As a rule, heart patients always have to take one or several medications to improve their physical resilience or reduce the risk of serious complications. However, some medicines used to treat heart disease – diuretics, but also antidepressants and especially the so-called beta-blockers – can reduce potency and sexual desire. If in doubt, the patient should discuss his situation with the doctor.

Beware of sexual enhancers!

Men who help with sexual enhancers do not live without danger. Because the combination with certain heart medicines, such as nitrates, can lead to a drop in blood pressure. If the blood pressure is too low, the heart is no longer supplied with sufficient blood. Patients with very severe cardiovascular disease, such as unstable angina or severe heart failure with symptoms at rest, who are advised not to engage in sexual activity should not use erectile dysfunction medications.


Heart patients do not automatically have to give up sex. The fear of overtaxing the heart through sexual activity is unfounded in most cases. Even if physical or mental problems set limits to your love life, you should not do without tenderness in a relationship.

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