In "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart," Al Green could be singing directly to the more than 88,000 women ages 45 to 64, and the 372,000 women ages 65 and older in North America who have a heart attack every year.
For many, that event has emotional and sexual repercussions. Women worry: "Will my husband be afraid to have sex with me again?" "Could it give me another heart attack?" "What are the signs that I'm good to go?"
Great questions, but they can be tough to bring up with your doc (or your partner). A small but telling survey just out highlights that most docs don't talk to their female patients about resuming sexual activity and, if they do, the info is rarely helpful. Even larger studies find that about 66 percent of the time the topic is never brought up.
Well, we're not shy about discussing the topic - and you don't need to be either - because post-heart-attack sex is good for body and spirit. It reduces stress, and that helps brighten your mood and shrink heart-damaging belly fat. Plus, it lessens anxiety. So here's our advice. Enjoy!
1. If you can walk around easily and can climb two flights of stairs without discomfort - AND your doc says it's OK - you're ready to resume sexual activity.
2. Start slow, with massage, snuggles and tender touches.
3. Then get creative. There are lots of positions and connections that may let you enjoy intimacy with minimal strain. Experiment.
Remember, you're doing this for your health!
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.