Sex may not be dangerous for men with chronic heart failure, despite fears that intercourse may place too much strain on their heart, a new review shows.
The problem, however, is that many men with chronic heart problems may lose interest in sex as a result of the fatigue, depression, and the prescription side effects they often experience, as well as from fear of damaging the heart, researchers say.
The literature review, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, compiled data from patient surveys and clinical trials on chronic heart failure, sexual activity and sexual dysfunction, and found that the patient’s peak heart rate during intercourse was lower than their heart rate during normal everyday activities like walking on level ground, climbing stairs or doing general housework.
Sixty to 70 percent of men with heart conditions also experience erectile dysfunction, the authors said. Erectile dysfunction often results from a decrease in exercise, as well as blood vessel and circulation abnormalities that may reduce blood flow into the penis.
The authors said that patients who cannot take erectile dysfunction medication may be able to remedy the problem by developing an exercise routine, which may help to enhance their sex drives and overall health.