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Arrhythmias and Sexual Activity - Topic Overview

Is it safe for you to have sex?

If you have an arrhythmia and your doctor says that it's okay for you to do moderate activity, like brisk walking, then it's probably safe for you to have sex.

If you have any concerns, ask your doctor. Your doctor can check the health of your heart and help you know if it's safe to have sex.

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Tell your doctor if you have symptoms, like palpitations, when you have sex or when you exercise.

Talk honestly with your partner about your concerns and feelings. You can also try professional counseling to help you to understand and deal with feelings of worry or fear.

What if you have a pacemaker?

Most people who have a pacemaker can have an active sex life. If your doctor says that you can exercise and be active, then it's probably safe for you to have sex.

After you get your pacemaker implanted, you'll let your chest heal for a short time before resuming sex.

What if you have an ICD?

Most people who have an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) can have an active sex life. If your doctor says that you can exercise and be active, then it's probably safe for you to have sex.

After you get your ICD implanted, you'll let your chest heal for a short time before resuming sex. If you or your partner are worried about resuming sex, talk with your doctor about your concerns. Your doctor or another health professional can give you support and advice.

What if you get shocked? Many people who have ICDs worry that the ICD might shock them during sex. The risk of getting a shock during sex seems to be the same as during any other similar level of exercise. If you get a shock during sex, you will follow your plan about when to call your doctor.

Will your partner get shocked? Some people worry that if they get shocked during sex, their partners might be hurt. But your partner will not be shocked or feel any pain if you get shocked.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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