5 Common Questions About Sex and Your Heart

By: Steven Nissen, MD

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Patients typically ask me: Is intercourse good on your coronary heart?

The query appears easy. The reply is difficult, partly due to the boundaries of what analysis can inform us. But we do have a robust sense that intercourse matches in with a heart-healthy life-style.

Below are solutions to 5 frequent questions.

1. Is intercourse train?

Yes — but it surely’s not a lot train. You’re not going to burn your every day energy throughout a median sexual encounter (and few individuals need to admit to being common).

Assuming an average of five to 15 minutes for sex, you get about the identical quantity of exercise as strolling a mile in 20 minutes. The companion on prime reaches a coronary heart price of round 120. The companion on the underside reaches about 110.

In different phrases, you get a minimal of cardiovascular train from intercourse. Don’t depend on it as your solely exercise.

2. Is intercourse good on your coronary heart?

You’re not going to burn your every day energy throughout a median sexual encounter (and few individuals need to admit to being common).

Probably. For instance, one examine discovered that males who had intercourse twice every week or extra have been less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those that had intercourse as soon as a month or much less. Research like this sometimes focuses on males as a result of extra males have coronary heart illness. But we usually apply the identical reasoning to girls, too.

Studies reminiscent of this don’t show that intercourse prevents coronary heart illness. But they do recommend intercourse is a part of an general heart-healthy life-style. We have a tendency to think about intercourse as a “marker” on your well being. If you’re having extra intercourse, there’s a superb likelihood you’re fitter and extra lively to start with. And should you’re too out of form to take pleasure in intercourse, that could be motivation for life-style modifications.

3. Will anybody show intercourse is sweet on your coronary heart?

Probably not. For instance, observational research can set up a correlation. But they will’t show a cause-effect relationship.

To show trigger and impact, you want a randomized medical trial with a management group that abstains from intercourse for a very long time interval. This appears unlikely. It’s one cause amongst many who we will say intercourse might be good on your coronary heart — however we will’t say it definitively.

4. If you might have coronary heart illness, is intercourse dangerous?

Not within the overwhelming majority of circumstances. Patients typically ask this after a coronary heart assault or analysis of coronary heart illness. If you’re match sufficient for intercourse, we encourage it.

Your blood stress will go up throughout intercourse, sometimes to a peak of round 160/90. That’s akin to what occurs throughout a brisk run for a couple of minutes, and it goes again down afterward.

There has been evidence that sex with an unfamiliar partner — like intercourse exterior of a wedding — may be dangerous for males with coronary heart illness. Men have even died throughout intercourse, however it’s uncommon.

5. Does intercourse profit your general well being?

Yes, it probably does. Even if it’s not a high-intensity exercise, common intercourse generally is a rewarding a part of an general wholesome life-style. It could make you happier, extra relaxed and fewer careworn.

Put merely: Sex might be useful to your coronary heart and general well being. And as a result of it’s not dangerous to your coronary heart (besides in uncommon circumstances), “probably” may be all the reply you want.

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