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Sex is possible after heart trouble or stroke

By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times –

Sexual activity is safe for many people who have experienced heart problems or stroke, experts said Thursday in a statement containing recommendations for safe sexual activity.

The report, issued by a panel of major medical organizations, notes that the question of resuming sexual activity after cardiovascular events is a major issue for patients.

“Sexual counseling of cardiovascular disease patients and their partners is an important component of recovery; unfortunately, it is rarely provided,” the authors wrote.

The report contains detailed recommendations aimed at helping doctors and patients discuss sexual activity. In general, most patients can resume sex after a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease if they are first evaluated by a healthcare professional. However, people with a severe disease who tend to have symptoms, such as chest pain, with minimal physical activity or while resting, should not be sexually active until they receive further care to stabilize their conditions.

People who undergo cardiac rehab or who exercise regularly have a lower risk of complications related to sexual activity, the authors said. In general, medications for erectile dysfunction are safe for men with stable cardiovascular disease.

Recommendations are listed by each type of cardiovascular diagnosis, such as for patients with pacemakers, congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease and other conditions. The paper is published online in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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