While it may not be the most comfortable topic of discussion, it's critical that people living with any variety of heart disease explore its potential impact on their sexual health.
For many, heart health won't have much effect on their sexual abilities, and they will be able to continue on as they always have.
For some people, though, the physical effort of engaging in sexual activity needs to be approached with caution. Keep these points in mind:
Reduced blood flow can result in limited arousal
A number of cardiac conditions can cause a reduction in circulation and limited blood flow, particularly during periods of physical stress or activity. According to the American Heart Association, this can lead to problems reaching states of arousal for both men and women.
If you're experiencing this sort of problem, you should consult your doctor for his or her professional advice. For men experiencing erectile dysfunction, there are a number of medications on the market that may help. These may interact with your other medications or treatment regimens, though, so be sure to consult your cardiologist before starting to use them.
Symptoms related to your heart condition may arise
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of dealing with potential heart problems from sexual activity is knowing when to stop.
You should immediately stop sexual activity if you notice symptoms that could be linked to a heart condition. According to the National Institutes of Health, these symptoms may include nausea, an elevated heart rate and pulse, dizziness, chest pain, or labored breathing.
Talk with your partner
When we think about sexual health as it pertains to cardiac conditions, we tend to focus on the individual who has the heart problems. But your partner is also affected by these issues. Be sure that you've established open and honest communication with your partner regarding any cardiac issues you may have before engaging in sexual activity. This will allow them to be on the lookout for any problems that may arise and be ready to help if they do.