No, I haven’t started a side-line in selling ‘herbal viagra’. But I’ve written a sad little story that I would like to personally recount to every doctor who’s ever discharged anyone from hospital after a heart attack.
Having a heart attack is a huge shock and people take a while to get back to normal. For many people, ‘normal’ includes having sex, and quite right too. But studies show that less than half of women have restarted their sex life, a year after a heart attack. That compares to almost 70 percent of men.
Why? Of course, it may be personal choice, or changed personal circumstances. But a lot of people worry hugely about having sex after a heart attack. For most people, it’s perfectly safe. But the concern about putting strain on your heart is understandable.
So a quick chat with a doctor may make all the difference. A new study showed that women were 40 percent more likely to have sex in the year after their heart attack, if a doctor had talked to them about it before they left hospital. A few words of reassurance, maybe some advice about what to do if you get chest pains during or after sex.
Which makes it really sad that only 35 percent of women had received that all-important chat. Maybe the doctors thought it was ‘man’s talk’ – 46 percent of men remembered being advised about resuming sex. Of course, it should be 100 percent, but the gender gap is telling.
When you think of the money spent on hugely expensive drugs and treatments, it’s really sad that people are missing out on such a basic source of comfort and happiness, for the want of a five minute chat with a doctor.