For many men in middle age and beyond, the question of what effect sex has on the heart becomes more pressing. At one time, the only after-effects may have been emotional ones, but as we age, the physical stress that sex places on the body becomes more of an issue. Here’s a look at the question in some more detail.
Most experts agree that for men with no pre-existing heart conditions, sex can actually be beneficial to the heart no matter what age we are. It is a mild to moderate physical activity that encourages the efficient flow of blood around the body and slightly raises the heart rate, which all works to keep the heart strong and healthy.
In fact, it is not just the physical benefits of sex that are good for the heart. Intimacy and sexual arousal release feel-good chemicals and hormones in the brain and body. This can reduce stress levels, which in turn lowers blood pressure and puts less strain on the heart. It also helps you to bond with your partner and reduce loneliness and anxiety.
For men with a heart condition such as arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease, or angina, it is best to seek medical advice about how safe it might be to have sex. The British Heart Foundation advises that in most cases, it will be safe to resume sexual activity within two to four weeks of having a heart attack, or maybe longer if you have had surgery.
A more usual problem for heart patients is that a common side effect of the medication is a loss of sex drive and erectile dysfunction (ED). It may also be the result of increased depression and anxiety brought on by health worries. In this case, it is best to talk to your doctor.
The doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication or discuss other treatments for ED such as Viagra, which is the trade name for sildenafil. These medications work by increasing the blood flow to the penis, making it easier to achieve an erection.
One recent study even found that medication to treat ED such as Viagra may be beneficial for heart health. While the research is in the early stages, promising signs were discovered when scientists at the University of Manchester found that Viagra prevented abnormal heart rhythms from occurring in sheep.
The research team explained that sheep’s hearts are of a similar size and structure to human hearts, so it is likely that the positive effects of the drug would also be apparent in humans. It has already been noted previously that patients who are being treated with Viagra showed a reduced risk of heart attacks.
However, it is important to note that anyone who has a heart condition of any kind should always seek medical advice from a doctor, rather than rely on any other source of information about how best to manage the problem.
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