Skip to main content

Intimacy and Cardiovascular Disease

min read

By Emily Lockhart

Valentine’s Day is a little more than a week away, which means sweethearts of all ages are looking forward to the roses, the romantic dinners, and the boxes of chocolates, sure, but a little love making is definitely on most menus!

However, where does that leave one in 3 Americans who’ve been the victim of a heart attack, stroke, or other form of cardiovascular disease?

Approximately 795,000 Americans are affected by a repeated stroke every year so sex is often a touchy and stress-inducing subject when it comes to life in the wake of heart disease.

“Returning to intimacy can take time,” says Mirian Medina, RN and stroke coordinator at Raritan Medical Bay Medical Center. “There might be new challenges [and] emotional obstacles [such as]… insecurity, a feeling of unattractiveness or depression or physical issues like numbness, weakness or lack of feeling in certain parts of the body.”

Luckily the cupids at the American Heart Association give two thumbs up when it comes to having sex, but keep in mind that’s only if your cardiovascular disease is stable and your doctor has given you the “hey-ho!”

That’s why a candid conversation about sex with your primary care practitioner is a must for cardiovascular patients when it comes to re-igniting that flame of desire with your partner and evaluating your health before resuming regular sexual activity, for instance:

  • If you’re a caregiver to a partner with cardiovascular health issues, resuming role as lover may be difficult and speaking with a therapist or seeking the advice of a support group may help the transition.
  • If you’re experience sexual dysfunction, talk with your doctor about safe sex for those with cardiovascular disease to alleviate anxiety, depression or self esteem issues.
  • Just because you’re resuming sex doesn’t mean you should skip your medications. These will only help to curb cardiovascular symptoms—and your heart should be your main concern.
  • Women experiencing post-menopause along with cardiovascular disease, can use topical or inserted estrogen to ease painful intercourse. Speak to your doctor first!
  • Over the counter medications can be taken by heart patients to treat erectile dysfunction if your doctor says they are safe. However, keep in mind they might not be safe if you’re undergoing nitrate therapy for chest pains or coronary artery disease.

Source: NJ Today

Emily Lockhart


Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.

Men's Health News


Fathers Also Want to ‘Have It All,’ Study Says
By Gayle Kaufman Men's Health News

Fathers Also Want to ‘Have It All,’ Study Says

Have you seen the T-shirt slogan: Dads don’t babysit (it’s called “parenting”)? This slogan calls out the gendered language we often still use to talk about fathers. Babysitters are temporary caregivers who step in to help out the parents. But the fact is that fathers are spending more time with their children than ever before. […]

Read More about Fathers Also Want to ‘Have It All,’ Study Says

5 min read

Fatherhood Changes Men’s Brains, According to Before-And-After MRI Scans
By Darby Saxbe and Magdalena Martínez García Men's Health News

Fatherhood Changes Men’s Brains, According to Before-And-After MRI Scans

The time fathers devote to child care every week has tripled over the past 50 years in the United States. The increase in fathers’ involvement in child rearing is even steeper in countries that have expanded paid paternity leave or created incentives for fathers to take leave, such as Germany, Spain, Sweden and Iceland. And […]

Read More about Fatherhood Changes Men’s Brains, According to Before-And-After MRI Scans

5 min read