Sex and Your Heart
PAUL: I'm Paul Farber, I'm 66 years of age and two and a half years ago, I had six stents put in my chest.
JOYCE: I'm Joyce Axelrod, I'm 68 years old and I had a stent put in my left anterior descending artery 18 months ago.
BOBBY: My name is Bobby Williams, Senior, I'm 61 years old. All of the heart medications that I have to take, it causes erectile problems.
DR. CRAWFORD: Well the first thing a physician tries to do is switch the patient to medicines that DON'T have these side effects.
PAUL: I asked the doctor, could he lower the dosage, because it was really giving me problems in this area.
DR. CRAWFORD: For men, for instance,with erectile disfuntion, there are drugs for that now. And most heart patients can take these drugs. The only serious counter indication is somebody who is on nitro-glycerin preparations.
PAUL: It's a challenge, but you know I think it's more in my head than anywhere else.
DR. CRAWFORD: There's a lot of psychological issues surrounding this area of human activity and people often blame the drugs when they're really not the culprits.
PAUL: I'm worried about not being able to stay in the condition I need to be in to have a good sex life.
JOYCE: My husband was frightened for me and felt that OH! We really have to take this easy and maybe you're not ready to resume a normal sex life and I don't want to push you. He was, I still feel to this day, he was more apprehensive about resuming sex than I was.
DR. CRAWFORD: It turns out that sexual relations with a familiar partner are not much exertion, so there really is not much stress on the heart and most people can resume sexual activity when they get back from the hospital.
JOYCE: And I said 'I'll be happy to talk to the doctor if you think I should,' and he said 'oh, no, no, no you don't have to do that. I'll wait for you to tell me when you think is an appropriate time.' So that's how it worked out
PAUL: It's been a real learning process. I think I was concerned about how well I was. For me, I think my partner had more concerns than I did.
JOYCE: I think sex is a concern or a lot of pateints but they don't often talk a bout it. I'd say that about 10 percent of the patients talk about it.
If this is a problem - because I'm a great believer in communication. Communicate!
BOBBY: My advice to other men that are heart patients having problems is talk to your urologist, other people, other men and just open up to talk about it, don't be afraid. You'll find out a lot of times you know your best buddy might be going through the same thing.
This entry last modified on: February 22, 2013 4:57 PM
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About the Video
Heart disease doesn’t have to put a damper on your sex life. See how three heart patients were able to get back that loving feeling.