"For a patient who has sex with a familiar partner in a familiar setting, sexual activity generally is safe and no more strenuous than golf," said Loyola University Health System cardiologist Dr. John Moran.
Moran concurs with a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, which says that men and women with stable cardiovascular disease and no or minimal symptoms during routine activities can engage in sexual activity.
Loyola stroke specialist Dr. Jose Biller said that resuming sexual activity and intimacy is important both to patients and to their partners.
"Enhanced communication and post-stroke sexual education are paramount to a healthy, ongoing relationship," Biller said.
The American Heart Association statement said cardiac rehabilitation and regular physical activity could reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications related to sexual activity.
But patients with severe heart disease who have symptoms with minimal activity or while at rest should not be sexually active until their symptoms are stabilized.