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

Resuming Sexual Activity After a Heart Attack - Topic Overview

When can I have sex again?

Sex is part of a healthy life and part of your quality of life. It is safe for most people after they have had a heart attack.

After a heart attack, you can resume sexual activity when you are healthy and feel ready for it. You could be ready if you can do mild or moderate activity, like brisk walking, without having angina symptoms. Your doctor might tell you that if you can climb two flights of stairs without having any symptoms, you are healthy enough for sex. Or your doctor might want to do an exercise electrocardiogram to check the health of your heart before you have sex again.

Recommended Related to Sex & Relationships

The Sweetness Factor

By Jessie Knadler Looking for a relationship pick-me-up? All you need is a spoonful of sugar. “It’s easy to feel embarrassed or shy about being sweet to each other, especially in our cynical, hard-edged culture,” says REDBOOK Love Network expert Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., author of The Commuter Marriage. “But adding sweetness to your words and actions is the best thing you can do to bring positive energy to your relationship, which makes everything else easier.” Bonus: It’s human nature to copy each...

Read the The Sweetness Factor article > >

Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.

If you had an angioplasty, you'll wait until your incisions heal. If you had a bypass surgery, you'll wait a few weeks to let your chest heal.

What if I'm worried about resuming sex?

Some people are afraid to resume sexual activity after a heart attack. They are worried that they will have symptoms such as chest pain or will not have enough energy for sex. They also worry about having another heart attack.

The risk of having a heart attack during sex is low. Sex is the cause of less than 1 out of 100 heart attacks.1 This risk is low if you can do moderate activity without having angina symptoms such as chest pain or pressure.

Ask your doctor about your risk. He or she can help you know when your heart is healthy enough for the level of activity involved in sex.

Tips for resuming sex

Consider resuming sex gradually. You can start with ways of being intimate that are easy on your heart, like kissing and caressing. When you and your partner decide to start having sexual intercourse again, it might be helpful to keep in mind the following:

  • Talk honestly to your partner about your concerns and feelings. Your partner may have the same worries that you have.
  • Choose a time when you are relaxed and comfortable in a place that will be free from interruptions.
  • Wait 1 to 3 hours after eating a full meal so that digestion can take place.
  • Be aware that anxiety on the part of either partner may interfere with sexual arousal and performance.
  • Stop and rest if you have any angina symptoms. Call911 if your symptoms do not go away with rest or are not getting better within 5 minutes after you take a dose of nitroglycerin.
  • Tell your doctor if you have angina symptoms during sex.
    Next Article:

    Resuming Sexual Activity After a Heart Attack Topics

    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