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After a heart attack, women apprehensive about resuming sex lives

July 29, 2013

For women who have had heart attacks, resuming everyday activities can be a nerve-wracking endeavor. There is often some uncertainty surrounding whether their hearts have recovered enough, and this is especially true when it comes to issues surrounding sexual activity. New research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found women would like their doctors to give them better information regarding how soon after a heart attack they can have sex.

Researchers surveyed 17 women who had an average age of 60 and were either married or in long-term relationships. The study revealed that many of the subjects were afraid to resume their sex lives after experiencing a heart attack because they were unsure whether it was safe enough. Additionally, the women said the topic rarely came up in discussions with their doctors. 

"Most women don't have discussions with their doctors about resuming sex after a heart attack even though many experience fear or other sexual problems," said Emily M. Abramsohn, the study's lead author. "We wanted to get a better understanding of women's sexual recovery and how it could be improved."

Cardiovascular problems are among the biggest healthy aging concerns for women. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 7.2 million women have heart disease.