Tuesday, 30. of September 2014
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Sexual activity after heart valve replacement

Men and women who have undergone heart valve replacement with artificial heart valves have a new "accompaniment" which wasn't there before the operation and which may even be audible at complete physical rest: the clicking of the valve. Usually the valve has a soft, high-pitched click. Increasing blood pressure causes the heart to beat more forcefully and thus makes the sound become louder. This is quite normal with the materials used and there is no need for you or your partner to worry.

When the "clicking" signals a sense of achievement
What is new, however, is that the "state" of the person with the artificial valve - whether agitation or annoyance, joy or arousal- can be recognized more quickly by the other/another person if he or she listens carefully. This may, of course, be a disadvantage if a person does not wish to reveal his or her feelings. On the other hand it can also be a source of pleasure, e.g. if the reaction to a loving experience is also audible or if the clicking signals confirmation or a sense of achievement. As always, this depends on the situation and the relationship between the partners.

 

A faster pulse under stress is normal
If you are able to cope with normal everyday stresses there is no reason for you or your partner to get worried if you breathe more deeply or have a faster, stronger pulse when sexually aroused or during sexual activity. As we all know - this is all part of our normal response. However, after a previous poor state of health - when the same reactions could be a sign of deterioration or particular stress - it is quite understandable if you or your partner find it difficult to regard these reactions as normal after the operation.

There is only one thing to remember for the early phase after the operation: that is that the opened breastbone needs a few weeks for complete bony repair and that therefore not every position will be possible at the very beginning. On the other hand, if both partners want to continue an active sexual life but some sexual practices are too stressful (e.g. if the heart has not regained its full strength), it should not be difficult to come to an understanding that the "weaker" partner can assume the more passive role and may need a different position so that both can experience and enjoy sexual pleasure without risk.

The only thing that is "forbidden" is, of course, something that one partner does not like it or that puts him or her at risk.

 

Dr. med. Artur Bernardo, Medical Superintendent, Clinic Gais, Gais (Switzerland) (2003)

 

„Notice to patients:

Please speak to your Doctor before taking any medication other than that which has been prescribed by them. Please always tell the pharmacist that you are on oral anticoagulation therapy when purchasing any medication over the counter. This applies to creams and gels als well as tablets.

Speak to your Doctor before applying any therapy subsequent to the aforementioned information.“