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Health, social care & voluntary sector staff
Any serious health problem can impact on your sex life. Having a heart condition is no different. For anyone who was previously sexually active this is an important issue.
Sex is a form of exercise, no more stressful to the heart than other forms of moderate exercise. If you think of sex as a physical activity then making love raises the heart rate about as much as climbing two flights of stairs. Sex, like any exercise, raises your blood pressure but only briefly. Your blood pressure falls immediately afterwards. This temporary increase in blood pressure is normal and safe.
Sometimes high blood pressure, and blood pressure lowering drugs, can cause problems with sex:
Even though you may find it embarrassing, talk to your doctor if you are having problems with sex. If you think that your problems started after you began your treatment your doctor can try you on a different drug.
Note: Do not buy or use drugs such as Viagra© unless your doctor has prescribed it for you.
Talking to your partner can help
Some people lose interest in making love. This can be for various reasons:
Coming to terms with a heart condition can take time and both partners will have different ways of coping. Some people feel that their role within their relationship changes, especially if one partner takes on the caring role.
Talking to your partner about how you feel and any worries you may have will make it easier for you both to deal with the situation before it becomes a problem.
Retaining closeness and intimacy within your relationship will help to overcome difficulties. Remember that you can express your feelings in many different ways, through talking but also with body language and physical contact such as kissing and cuddling. Taking the first step may be the biggest hurdle to overcoming your anxiety about resuming sexual contact.
Although this seems limiting you will adapt quite quickly to find the best circumstances for you and your partner. Remember it's possible to maintain a healthy sex life.
If you or your partner have any questions or concerns regarding your sexual relationship try to talk to your doctor. If necessary he / she can refer you to a specialist for counselling. Your doctor will be used to talking about personal matters even if you aren't, so try not to feel embarrassed.