• General Guidelines for Returning to Sexual Activity After a Heart Event or Procedure

    The following are general guidelines for returning to sexual activity after a you have had a heart event or a heart procedure. These guidelines are meant to inform you of typical recommendations, but it is always best to ask your doctor when it is okay for you to resume sexual activity.

    After Angioplasty and Stenting Without a Heart Attack

    If you had chest pain (angina) with sexual activity before your angioplasty and stenting procedure, it's a good idea to talk with your heart doctor (cardiologist) about when it will be safe for you to restart sexual activity.If you did not have chest pain during sex prior to your procedure, then it is usually recommended that you wait at least 5 days after the procedure before resuming sexual activity (or other strenuous activity). Your doctor may recommend you wait longer if you are experiencing any discomfort in the groin area.

    After a Heart Attack

    Having sex within the first two weeks after a heart attack can leard to more heart problems. It is important to check with your doctor about when you can resume sexual activity. Most people are able to have sex within 3 to 6 weeks after a heart attack. How long you need to recover will depend on the size of your heart attack, if you had problems after your heart attack (such as recurrent chest pain, arrhythmias or heart failure) and if you are still have problems.

    After Coronary Bypass Surgery

    After heart surgery (such as coronary bypass surgery, which is also known as bypass surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery or CABG), it is important to wait to resume physical activity (including sexual activity) until your breastbone is completely healed. This usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. Then it's best to check with your doctor about when to resume seual activity. Once you are cleared to resume sex, consider sexual positions that do not put pressure on the sternum.

    With Heart Failure

    If you have heart failure, then fatigue (due to heart failure itself and usually the maximum doses of beta-blocker medications) may be the most limiting factor preventing sexual activity. Discuss your concerns and problems relating to sex with your doctor, who may be able to adjust your medications.

    Talk with Your Healthcare Team

    Every patient's situation is unique, and guidelines simply provide general recommendations for what is right for some people. It is always a good idea to speak openly with your healthcare providers about your condition and how it may affect resuming sexual activity, including any concerns or questions you or your partner may have. The doctors and nurses as SecondsCount have created a list of questions that patients often ask about sex after a heart event or treatment. You can review these questions - and print them, if you like - here.