When can I resume sexual activity after a heart attack?

Having sex within the first two weeks after a heart attack can lead to more heart problems. Most people are able to have sex within 3 to 6 weeks after a heart attack. How long you need to recover will depend on the size of your heart attack, if you had problems after your heart attack (such as recurrent chest pain, arrhythmias, or heart failure), and if you still have problems. Additionally, different types of treatments for heart attack have different recovery periods. Check with your doctor about when you can resume sexual activity.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Check with your doctor, but if it's been 10 days since you were released from the hospital and you're healthy enough to walk at a nice pace for a mile or so and climb two flights of stairs (like Jack Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets), you're likely to be cleared for sex.

Unfortunately, most doctors don't talk about post-heart attack sex with their patients. Only half of male patients and a third of female patients are told when to restart their love machine. Without that info, many are too timid to test the waters. (To help you feel confident about your stamina and safeguard your health, some doctors recommend intensive cardiac rehab after a heart attack.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.