Snubbing an old myth, some researchers have found that engaging in sexual activity could be safe for most heart patients.
Both heart patients and partners may have misconceptions about the perceived dangers of sexual activities and commonly restrict their activities.
Changes in sexual satisfaction and decreases in sexual activity are often reported by heart patients. Counseling regarding how to gradually resume habitual sexual activity is critical for patients who have experienced a cardiac event or undergone a cardiac procedure.
‘Healthcare providers should offer professional sexual activity advice to heart patients to improve their quality of life. Often considered 'taboo,' an objective discussion of sexual behavior in heart disease has often been put aside. Healthcare providers must break this vicious cycle.’
"Our extensive literature review enabled us to dismiss several myths regarding the advisability of sexual activity in heart patients," said lead author Ricardo Stein from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
"Overall, the risk of death during sex is very low for most clinically stable heart patients, and interestingly, even much lower for the women," Stein noted.
Sexual activity, particularly coitus, is a major aspect of health-related quality of life and is often considered the most pleasant and rewarding form of exercise performed.
The study pointed out that sexual activity is typically well-tolerated by most clinically stable heart patients, who are advised to participate in exercise programs as part of their recovery plan.
The researchers recommended that healthcare providers should offer professional sexual activity advice to heart patients to improve their quality of life. The study equated various sexual activities with walking at different speeds, noting for example that orgasm is equivalent to a brisk walk across a street.
The study was published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology