Sex and Atrial Fibrillation: What Doctors Want You to Know
“The chaotic beating of atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes your heart to quiver rapidly, can be frightening — even if it only lasts for a short time. It’s natural to be afraid that any form of exertion, including sex, will bring on another episode. It’s also natural for the partner who doesn’t have the cardiac condition to be concerned… But fears of negative consequences from having sex when you’re living with atrial fibrillation are largely unfounded… “I can assure you that the risk of an episode of atrial fibrillation is not increased by any particular activity,” says Dr. Kowey “It would be very unusual to have that reliable a relationship between physical activity, including sex, and atrial fibrillation…”
Are You Heart-Healthy for Sex?
As long as you’re not having any heart symptoms, you’re under the care of a doctor, you’re physically active, and any heart conditions are under control, then having sex is safe… In fact, Dr. Day says that not only is sex safe for atrial fibrillation patients, but he would also encourage it within a monogamous relationship because sex is actually very healthy for the heart…
Sex does cause your heart rate and blood pressure to rise. But as Day explains, sex is really a mild or moderate physical activity “If you are able to walk briskly or climb two flights of stairs with no problems, your heart should hold up just fine during sex” Because sex is exercise, it’s good for the heart Exercise can help you maintain a positive outlook and upbeat mood. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight and regulate your biological rhythms so you sleep better at night.
Remember to get the all-clear from your doctor that you can have sex and that it won’t affect your atrial fibrillation puts the mind at ease. “Just the reassurance for many of these patients is enough therapy for them,” he says The misconception about sex and the heart may come from Hollywood It’s really only in the movies where men drop dead of heart attacks during or immediately after sex, says Day, adding that in real life, a sex-induced heart attack is an incredibly rare event… Sexual Side Effects of Afib Heart Medication Ironically, it could be your medication, rather than the atrial fibrillation itself, that’s interfering with intimacy.
Your doctor may prescribe beta-blockers to lower your blood pressure, and some men experience erectile dysfunction (ED) as a side effect…
Knowing that your doctor is ready and willing to reassure you and answer your questions should be the impetus you need to voice your concerns If you’re living with atrial fibrillation, you don’t have to wait for the doctor to bring up the subject of sex”