Sexual activity is perfectly safe for most heart patients, according to new guidelines from the American Heart Association Thursday.
It has been a very difficult question for patients who have heart attack or heart surgery to ask: how long should they wait before resuming a normal sex life? Patients are afraid to bring up the subject, cardiologist Dr. Tara Narula of Lenox Hill Hospital says.
However, for the first time, the American Heart Association tried to answer those questions with a new set of guidelines, according to CBS reports.
Patients with severe heart disease who have symptoms while at rest should put off sex until their condition has stabilized, according to the guidelines.
To put it in a simple way, the safe condition for sex is that if you can walk briskly or climb two flights of stairs without experiencing chest pain, abnormal heart rhythms, or shortness of breath.
After a heart attack, the risk of death or another heart attack after sex is low, only 2 to 3 per 100,000, says the guidelines.
Still, the guidelines recommend that heart-attack survivors wait at least a week after their attack to resume having sex.
Patients who have had bypass surgery or other major heart surgery should wait at least six to eight weeks, the authors say, although sex is generally safe several days after minimally invasive surgery to clear blocked blood vessels.