Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Sex After a Heart Attack

When Can You Resume Sex After a Heart Attack?

Most people can safely resume sexual activity a couple of weeks after a heart attack, if they have no serious complications, cardiologists say.

In fact, the chance of another heart attack during sex is so low that it's not worth worrying about, says James E. Muller, MD, a researcher who published a 2000 study, "Triggering of Cardiac Events by Sexual Activity," in the American Journal of Cardiology.

"The absolute risk is very low and should not be a consideration for those with stable coronary disease," he says.

"Sex is generally physical activity, and some doctors have even said it's the equivalent of walking up a flight of steps," Goldberg says. "It's not as vigorous an activity as some people perceive."

Patients may not even need an exercise stress test first to check how much physical activity their heart can handle according to Thomas. In general, patients can resume sex after a heart attack if they are "able to walk a couple of flights of stairs, if they're able to walk on a treadmill, or do moderate-intensity activity without any chest discomfort or without any severe shortness of breath," says Thomas.

Sex after a heart attack is safe even after successful bypass surgery or angioplasty in which stents are placed inside arteries to keep them open, according to Goldberg. However, bypass patients may need additional time to recover from their surgical wounds.

Certain high-risk patients do need to be more cautious, however. If they've developed complications from a heart attack--for example, heart failure or dangerous heart rhythms that make them prone to heart attack, cardiac arrest, or fainting-they may need additional treatment. Until these treatments work to reduce their cardiac risk, they should ask their doctor when it will be safe to resume sexual activity.

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure