The scary life-changing effects of a heart attack are real! After suffering a heart attack, some might fear that resuming their sex life can possibly bring on another, so they refrain from engaging in any activity even if a medical doctor has cleared them.

Many heart attack survivors can restart a stalled sex life within a week to six weeks after leaving the hospital because their heart muscle has healed enough so that they can withstand the stress that’s placed on it. Those who have had bypass surgery have to wait longer to engage in sex, more like 6 to 8 weeks. If a surgical procedure is more involved additional healing time will be needed.

You should wait to have sex, however, if you have advanced heart failure, severe valve disease, uncontrolled arrhythmia, unstable angina, unstable or severe heart disease. 

Keep in mind, each post-heart attack scenario is different, and a doctor will advise a patient on what is best and safest for them.

Here are a few tips on how to handle sex after suffering a heart attack:

  • Once a patient has been given the green light to resume sexual activity after a heart attack, they should ease back into it slowly.
  • Put the brakes on any activity that causes you to experience chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular palpitations or dizziness
  • Wait a few minutes to see if the symptoms subside, if they do not, call your physician immediately
  • Put receptive anal sex on pause as there is evidence that it puts pressure on the vagus nerve that runs between the brain and abdomen and this can lead to chest pains (your doctor will let you know when it is safe to get this act going again)
  • If your meds are contributing to erectile dysfunction, speak to your doctor about tweaking them
  • Enroll in a cardiac rehab program to maintain physical fitness, if you can work up a sweat at a gym, then it is probably safe to have sex, but your doctor will guide you regarding this respect