Most heart attack survivors avoid sex because they fear it will trigger another attack. But a new study suggests that sex is good for the heart - even after a heart attack.
Researchers say that it is a myth that sex is a dangerous activity for heart patients.
"The likelihood of dying during sexual intercourse, even among people who have had a heart attack, is really small," Live Science quoted lead author Dr. Stacy Lindau of the University of Chicago, as stating.
Researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke that many people pointlessly become prudes after surviving a heart attack. A third of men and 60 percent of women abstained the year after a heart attack.
In films, mind-blowing sex often becomes heart-stopping sex. But in real life, there is little need for such worries.
Most doctors consider sex safe once the patient is feeling up for moderate exercise.
After all, "sexual activity is a moderate physical activity," said senior author Dr. John Spertus of the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
In the study of 1,760 acute heart attack patients, less than half received information regarding sex. Women, in particular, were unlikely to receive advice on when, or if, to resume sex.
This lack of communication carried over to the bedroom. Men were 1.3 times and women 1.4 times more likely to report a diminished sex life if they hadn't been offered advice on the subject from their doctors.
Spertus suggested that doctors, patients and their loved ones should proactively bring up questions about sex.
"The goal is to restore people's total health. Not only by minimizing the risk of the next heart attack but also by maximizing quality of life," Spertus said.