Sex and heart failure

Most people with heart failure can still have an active sex life. But sexual problems are common. Your interest may drop, or you may have shortness of breath or other symptoms that limit your ability to have sex. Men may have erection problems.

To make sex easier on you and your heart:

  • Avoid sexual activity when:
    • It's very hot or humid outside.
    • You're under stress.
    • You've just had a meal.
  • Don't drink alcohol for at least 3 hours before sex.
  • Stop if you feel lightheaded or have chest pain, palpitations, or a fast heartbeat.
  • Tell your doctor if you're having heart failure symptoms when you have sex.

You can get help for erection problems or other sexual troubles. For more information, see the topics:

  • Erection Problems (Erectile Dysfunction).
  • Sexual Problems in Women.

Last Updated: August 13, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.