Have you ever thought, “what happens to my heart during sex?” I watched a special on the discovery channel a few evenings ago and learned more than I ever wanted to know about my body and sex! And I still find it interesting, well actually sad, that we do not incorporate sexual education into our cardiac patients treatment plan.
Let’s get real, your heart definitely gets a workout during the horizontal hokie pokie. Not enough to cancel your gym membership, but enough to mention. Here is a peek at how your heart reacts during the 4 stages of your “hot and heavy”…
Arousal- Your heart rate and respiratory rate go up. Your blood pressure quickly follows suit and you get a flushed feeling from head to toe. Just imagine walking the mall briskly, but only way more enjoyable!
Plateau- All of the above changes are magnified. This would be the second heaviest workload right before orgasm. Yes, once again I have use one of those funny, uncomfortable and clinical words. Think of this phase as walking up a few flights of stairs. But once again, a heck of a lot more fun.
Orgasm- This would obviously be your greatest increase in blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. Maximum workload for the ol’ ticker. This lasts about 15-30 seconds. All that work for just 15 seconds! I’m not sure what to compare this to. I will just say it is a very happy place to be and leave it at that!
Resolution- Your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing very quickly returns to normal. This is the heaviest workload after you orgasm. Let’s see, I will compare this to the end of a soccer game when you are sucking down your water and catching your breath. You are so sad to see the game end but so darn glad you played!
I am sad to report that this whole process on the average takes 10-20 minutes. Yes, that is all. If you have angina during the warm up, feel that your heart is “beating out of your chest” or have trouble regaining your breath after sex, you need to make an appointment with your cardiologist. Don’t be embarrassed, anxious or ashamed! Isn’t it better to discuss the problems rather than ignore them and have a heart attack in the throws of passion? Personally, I think that it would be more embarrassing, but not uncommon! But we will save that discussion for another time.