Have A Heart! How To Enjoy Sex After A Heart Condition

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Have A Heart! How To Enjoy Sex After A Heart Condition
Don't let a heart condition keep you from exploring endless sexual possibilities with your partner.

I am ready to return to the endless opportunities in the bedroom with my partner. It will take a bit of time and hopefully a lot of practice.

Listed below are the AHA guidelines to resuming sex with heart disease and other heart conditions (my "two cents" are in parantheses):

  • Before resuming sex, make sure you can engage in moderate physical activity, such as walking briskly up two flights of stairs, without chest pain, breathlessness, or other symptoms.

(Make sure you are strong enough to walk slowly. When engaging in sex, remain a passive partner until your stamina increases. Enjoy lying flat during intercourse and receiving oral sex. If providing stimulation to your partner, lie relaxed on your side with a pillow supporting your head and back).

  • If moderate activity is too strenuous, avoid intercourse but not intimacy. Hugging and kissing may be okay.

(Only hugging and kissing? That's enjoyable, but why exclude being touched by your partner, or receiving oral sex? Occasionally, deep kissing can lead to shortness of breath. Take breaks that allow you to breathe and gently kiss other parts of the body).

  • Have sex in a comfortable, familiar place and avoid things that could add stress to the experience, including extramarital affairs.

(Interesting; have a heart attack, end your affair? You can read my articles on non-monogamy).

  • Tell your doctor about any symptoms during sex, including chest pain, dizziness, or insomnia afterward.
  • Some positions may not be safe. Heart bypass surgery patients should avoid being on top in the missionary position and Steinke says having sex in a more "upright position" may be easier for some heart failure patients, whose symptoms may include shortness of breath.

(Recommended positions for male patients: partner on top in an armless chair, missionary with partner on top, lying side by side in a spoon position, standing on the side of the bed with partner on their back near edge of bed, or on their stomach with their rear lifted — lean your weight on the bed to reduce feeling dizzy or use your hands for support).

(Female patients: side by side spooning position, missionary with partner on top and weight on their knees to avoid pressure to your chest/abdomen, rear entry with pillows under chest and stomach for support, lying on your back with bottom to edge of bed with partner standing. If your head is too low, you may feel dizzy; support your head or elevate it slightly).

Cheers to the American Heart Association! Myself, as well as many others, are interested in the endless possibilities to sex, even with a cardiac condition.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tiffany Anton

Sex Therapist

Tiffany Anton, LCSW

Anton Therapy Services, LLC

Location: Madisonville, LA
Credentials: LCSW, MSW
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