04/05/2012 12:25 pm ET

Death By Sex: How Likely Is This?

Patients with heart disease often worry that they may die during sex. Many then continue with ….."What a way to go!" Let's look at the current literature. The American Heart Association recently came out with a scientific statement on Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular disease and there was a nice study reported in the International Journal of Impotence Research regarding sexual function in women with heart disease.

It is widely know that erectile dysfunction (ED) in men is often due to blood flow issues, mainly atherosclerosis. But fewer studies looked at women with heart disease specifically. When comparing women with heart disease and healthy women of the same age, the heart disease patients had fewer sexual encounters per month (2.24 vs. 5.2). Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) was found in 60% of the heart disease group and in only 33% of the others. Decreased desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm were all noted in the heart disease patients, as well as increased pain with sex. Orgasm and lubrication were most severely affected due to the reduced blood flow to the clitoris and vaginal area.

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