Sex and Your Heart Video

Heart disease doesn’t have to put a damper on your sex life. See how three heart patients were able to get back that loving feeling.
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I’m Paul Farber. I’m 66 years of age. And two and a half years ago I had six stents put in my chest. I’m Joyce Axel Roth. I’m 68 years old. I had a stent put in my left anterior descending artery 18 months ago. My name is Bobby R. Williams Sr. and I am 61 years old. All the heart medication I had to take, it causes erectile problems. Well, the first thing a physician usually does is tries to switch the patient to medications that don’t have these side effects. I asked the doctor, “Could I lower the dosage because its really giving me problems in this area?” For men for instance with erectile dysfunction, there are drugs for that and most heart patients can take those drugs. The only serious contraindication is somebody who is on nitroglycerine perforations. It’s a challenge but you know I think its more in my head than any where else. There's a lot of psychological issues surrounding this area of human activity. And people often blame the drugs when really they're not the culprits. I’m just worried about not be able to stay in the condition that I need to be in to have a good sex life. My husband was very—he was frightened for me and felt that, “Oh, you know, we really have to take this easy and maybe you're not ready to resume a normal sex life and I don’t want to push you.” He was—I’ve still feel to this day, he was more apprehensive about resuming sex than I was. It turns out that sexual relations with a familiar partner are not much exertion so there really isn’t much stress on the heart and most people can resume sexual activities when they get back from the hospital. And I said, id be happy to talk to the doctor about it if you think I should and he was, “Oh, no, no, no. You don’t have to do that.” I’ll wait for you to tell me when you think its in appropriate of time. And so that’s how it worked out. Its been a real learning process. I think I was concerned about how well I was. I think my partner had more concerns than I did. I think sex is a concern for a lot of patients but they don’t often talk about it. I’d say only about 10% of patients talk about it. If this is a problem, because I’m a great believer in communication, communicate. My advise to all the men that are heart patients that are having problem, talk to your urologists, and you know, talk to other people, other men and just open up—and talk about it, don’t be afraid, open up and talk about it. And you will find out that a lot of times, you know, your best buddy might be going through the same thing.

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