Don't be afraid to ask about your sexual health post-heart attack.

What you can learn from the new AHA guidelines for post-heart attack sex

Sexual health is a sensitive subject for many women, one that can be difficult to broach during a doctor's visit. Topics like a drop in libido, vaginal dryness and female lubricants can even be taboo in close circles of friends. So, what happens when a major medical event leaves you with questions about your sex life? Previously on this blog, we reported that the American Heart Association (AHA) has released new guidelines for physicians, directing these professionals to hold frank and candid conversations with their patients about physical intimacy after cardiac arrest.

So, what are some of the biggest takeaways from the AHA's announcement?

Accept and embrace change

After undergoing a heart attack, you are faced with the perfect opportunity to look at your sex life and really think about what you want. CNN notes that you may well be able to pick up where you left off in terms of physical intimacy, but why not take the time to consider new positions and even incorporate other forms of romantic interaction that promote connectivity.

Understand what your sexual symptoms mean

In an interview with CNN, Dr. Madeleine Castellanos notes that the AHA has taken a step toward acknowledging the sexual issues that are unique to woman during this time. "I appreciate that the AHA was careful to point out that women's sexuality can often get marginalized, and that their sexual complaints regarding lubrication and excitation should be seen as a serious indicator of possible cardiovascular disease," she said.

Speak up 

This may be a more difficult step for some women than for others, but speaking up about your sexual issues can bode well for your overall health as well as your relationship. Opening the lines of communication both with your physician and with your partner can help you identify possible medical concerns and learn about treatments. In some cases, relief may be as simple as introducing a new natural lubricant. You may even find that discussing this topic is a liberating and libido-enhancing step that could increase the intimacy you feel with your partner. While you're talking, why not open up with your loved one about other ways to enhance your pleasure?

A heart attack is an incredibly jarring event that can make you feel weak and vulnerable. Just as you would consult a doctor about shortness of breath and other physical issues, don't be afraid to bring up your sexual health and inquire about how and when you can reclaim control of this important aspect of your well-being.

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