Sex and Heart Attacks

sex and heart attacks
sex and heart attacks

Bread and butter, sex and heart attacks. Having a heart attack during sex is a fear as old as time itself. Or maybe not as old. But most people (including you) believe that sex increases your chances of a heart attack, especially if you have heart disease. Well, let us see how true it is.

Is Sex Stressful For Your Heart?

Many people believe that sex is stressful for the heart. This is probably because, during sex, your heart tends to beat faster. But, sex is not more stressful than a general physical activity like walking up a flight of stairs, doing house chores, jogging or walking about 1.6 km. Sex (including orgasms) consumes as much energy as these activities. Remember how you tend to pant after climbing up a flight of stairs? Sex is just as stressful as that. So, if your doctor says it is safe for you to carry out other physical activities like those above, then it is most likely safe for you to have sex.
Your chances of having a heart attack during sex are low if your heart disease is stable (American Heart Association). In the end, sex is not more stressful for your heart than other physical activities.
Sex has many benefits for your heart.

Benefits Of Sex On Your Heart & Health

  • Sex:
  • serves as a form of exercise for your heart
  • reduces your stress levels
  • lowers your blood pressure
  • increases your social connections, hence reduces your risk of heart disease

Still, there are situations where sex (and physical exertion) may not be advisable.

When You Should Avoid Sex (And Physical Exertion)

  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • The first few weeks after a heart attack

Before you resume sex after a heart attack or heart surgery, you must seek clearance from your doctor. It is normal for you or your partner to be worried about sexual activity after a heart attack.
Instead of shying away from sex, speak to a doctor or your doctor about your concerns.

You can also reduce your anxiety around sex by:
Having sex in a familiar setting like your home instead of a hotel or new environment
Having sex in less stressful or demanding positions
Engaging in regular exercise (as medically advised) reduces your relative risk of a heart attack.


Sex and heart attacks do not occur commonly. Your risk of having a heart attack during sex is low, especially if you do not have a poorly controlled heart disease. Instead, sex has many benefits to your heart and health. Also, there are some measures you can take to reduce your anxiety around sexual activity. Finally, if you have poorly controlled heart disease or certain symptoms, stay away from sex until you are cleared by your doctor.


  1. Oh please, not the “sex causes heart attack” story again – Harvard Health
  2. Is Sex Dangerous If You Have Heart Disease? | Johns Hopkins Medicine
  3. Sex and Heart Disease | American Heart Association
  4. Sex and Heart Disease | American Heart Association