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Resuming sexual activity

As a general rule, you may resume sexual activity as soon as you are comfortable enough to tolerate activity equal to climbing one to two flights of stairs. See Activity and exercise for more information.


Sex is exercise. Use the same guidelines regarding sex as you do for any other exercise.

Don't use a position that bears weight on your arms. If you've had surgery, this helps protect your sternum area as it heals.

What if your partner is worrying?

"I like sex, but it's not worth dying over."

This may be how your partner feels. It may even be how you feel. You may both benefit from the intimacy and caring that are a part of sex. Remember — sexual activity is like any other activity or exercise. If you can tolerate other activities and exercise, you can likely tolerate sex.

Resources, like support groups, printed materials, and books, have been created especially for patients and partners. Ask your health care team for specific recommendations.

Where you and/or your partner can get help

Concerns about resuming sexual activity are common. Talk to your health care team frankly about your concerns.

Consider attending a support group, so you can talk with other cardiac patients who have the same concerns. And speak candidly with your partner.



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Helping Your Heart, fourth edition, cvs-ahc-90648

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 06/01/2007

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts