Heart attack triggers are anger, heavy exertion, and getting out of bed in the morning. Added up, these triggers account for 17 percent of all heart attacks.
Sexual intercourse is rated as mild-to-moderate exercise (the equivalent of brisk walking half a mile or climbing a few flights of stairs). If one can tolerate exercise, one is probably physically ready for sex. Sex once a week poses only minimal risk and the doctor should encourage heart patients not to abstain from sex for fear of triggering a heart attack.
For a small number of patients, however, sex can be a real threat. According to a report in the American Journal of Cardiology, one may need to abstain from sex -- at least temporarily, till the conditions are under control - if one has any of the following conditions:
- Unstable angina: Chest pain that is either severe, becoming more frequent, or occurring during rest.
- The onset of angina or chest pain caused by heart problem.
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Advanced heart failure marked by shortness of breath at rest
- A heart attack within the last two weeks
- Certain arrhythmias, abnormal heart rhythms, especially in the ventricles of the heart
- Cardiomyopathy or weak heart muscle
To help overcome fear and anxiety related to sex after a heart attack, one should avoid sex after heavy meals and do it only when rested under the cover of a soft, relaxing music and a comfortable room temperature.
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