Love Heartlily After Heart Attack - News
The first consultation with a doctor after heart attack is always important. The patient is generally accompanied by a string of relatives —wife, children, elders in the family and sometimes, even friends —and everyone looks worried.
The general fear, I suppose, stems from the possibility of harbouring some killer of a disease. Many seek advice regarding diet, exercise and life style, while others turn religious.
Few — after shedding that initial inhibition — would want to know about the possibility of having an active sexual life. Well, while this question appears to be least of the worries given the other pressing health issues, it obviously cannot be ignored, especially by the younger lot with a perfectly normal sexual drive.
According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Lindau ST and colleagues, all young patients go back to being sexually active within one year of suffering heart attack. Only a small section — one in 15 women and one in 20 men — never resume sexual activity.
But of those who do, half start having sex by one month of the heart attack and 90 per cent get back their love life by the end of the year. But a lot depends on how important sex is to that particular patient. While 92 per cent of men and 73 per cent of females rated this factor as somewhat important, 45 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women felt it was very important.
Another major issue is the physical hurdles that a patient must face. As such, 21.76 per cent men complained of "erectile difficulty" after heart attack, while 18.l8 per cent cited lack of interest.
Women, on the other hand, had lubricating issues while around 40 per cent spoke of lack of interest.
Diabetes and high stress levels are concerns too. Strangely, a high number of patients in western countries did not discuss this with their physicians at all.
Over the years, a lot has changed for the heart attack patient though. Three decades ago, they used to be hospitalised for two to three weeks at least. They were not even allowed to turn on one side, and their activities were grossly restricted with slow rehabilitation.
In fact, the cardiac lift that hospitals usually had was an extremely slow one to avoid jerks. In today's world, things are different — restrictions are less and fast elevators will whizz you to your bed from the ICU without wastage of time.
One can even expect quicker discharge.
If the complications are less, a heart attack patient is likely to be sent home by Day 5 of hospitalisation.
As a young physician, I was occasionally approached by heart attack patients seeking advice regarding sexual activity. I often conversed with my seniors about this issue. Opinions were diverse.
Many were of the view that sex was a strict no-no post-heart attack. Some said the woman-on-top position worked best, while others suggested the side-toside posture. I think such conflicting views doubled the patients' fears. Read more news on http://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com
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