Sex and the heart patient – Dr Rosemary Higgins

Wellbeing 702x468

Cardiac rehabilitation is about supporting patients to return to their life and retaining quality of life.

Returning to sexual activity is an important goal of many patients post cardiac event.

Most people can go back to sex soon after a heart attack, according to the Heart Foundation of Australia. They advise that being able to walk up two flights of stairs without chest pain or shortness of breath generally means that your heart can cope with the demands of sex. They note that after bypass surgery, the wait is longer to avoid stress on the sternum or breastbone. The reality is that for many couples a cardiac event can spell the end of intimacy!!!

Do we provide appropriate support and reassurance with this important aspect of rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation staff can advise patients to:

  • Be realistic about the speed of return to sex
  • Work together as a couple
  • seek advice and reassurance from health professionals
  • Keep close and communicate affection
  • Show love to your partner with cuddles and strokes
  • Consult their doctor if you have problems resuming sex
  • Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet to help your sex life and your cardiac health
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