When can I have sex again after a heart attack?

After recovering from a heart attack, you can have sex as soon as you feel ready. For most people, this is usually around four to six weeks.

No increased risk

People are often concerned about having sex after a heart attack, because they think it might be too strenuous.

However, there's no evidence to suggest that having sex increases your risk of having another heart attack. Once you’ve recovered, you’re no more likely to trigger another heart attack by having sex than someone who has never had a heart attack.

Regular exercise and physical activity are good for the heart and, for most people, continue to be recommended after a heart attack. Like any form of physical activity, having sex can make your heart work harder by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.

When you’re ready to start having sex again, you may find the following advice from the British Heart Foundation useful:

  • avoid having sex after a heavy meal
  • don’t drink too much alcohol before having sex
  • find a position that is comfortable for you
  • ask your partner to take a more active role
  • keep any medication close by in case you need it

When to seek medical advice

Consult your GP if you get chest pain (angina) during sex.

After having a heart attack, some men experience problems getting or maintaining an erection (known as erectile dysfunction or impotence). These problems can be caused by emotional stress or, in rare cases, by medication such as beta-blockers. However, impotence can also have other causes.

Speak to your GP, who can investigate what is causing your problems and advise you about any treatment you may need.

 Further information:

Page last reviewed: 30/06/2015

Next review due: 30/04/2018