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Women Need more Information About Sex Post Heart Attack, Study Suggests

Update Date: Jul 25, 2013 03:23 PM EDT

Suffering from a heart attack can be very traumatizing. Even though people survive from these scary health events, the journey toward recovery can be mentally tough. In a new but small study, researchers found that women in particular are extra worried about having sex post a heart attack event. This study suggests that female heart attack survivors might need more information about the safety of sex after such a huge medical event has occurred.

In this study, researchers interviewed 17 women with the average age of 60 who had suffered from a heart attack within the past two years. The participants were taken from a larger study. From that study, the researchers had reported that 47 percent of men and 35 percent of women stated that their doctors discussed the safety of sex after experiencing a heart attack. The rest of the people from that study did not get any information from their medical professionals.

Based from the reports in this new study, the researchers found that although the majority of them were able to return to their normal sex lives a month post heart attack, some of them were still too scared to have sex due to their fears that sex, which is a rigorous activity, might negatively affect their hearts.

"Unfortunately, that's not surprising," one of the researchers, Emily Abramsohn from the University of Chicago said.

The researchers believe that since sex is often not considered a high-risk activity for people who had a heart attack, doctors might not feel the need to give patients the go to have sex. For patients who are worried, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology did issue guidelines regarding the safety of sex. They stated that sex would be "reasonable" under certain parameters since the severity of people's heart conditions vary drastically.

This study suggests that more conversations need to occur between doctors and heart attack patients when it comes to sex. Since sex plays a huge factor in one's mental health and for relationships, it is important to address this topic with patients who might abstain from it but do not have to. The researchers remind patients who might be afraid of sex to ask their physicians even if the subject is not brought up.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association

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