Guidelines for sexual activity of patients and their partners after cardiovascular event – AHA, ESC GUIDELINES 2013

Authors: J. Špinar 1,2;  J. Vítovec 3
Authors‘ workplace: Interní kardiologická klinika LF MU a FN Brno 1;  Mezinárodní centrum klinického výzkumu, Brno3 I. interní kardioangiologická klinika LF MU a FN u sv. Anny v Brně 2
Published in: Kardiol Rev Int Med 2014, 16(4): 267-271
Category: Cardiology Review


After a cardiovascular event, patients and their families often have to cope with numerous changes in their lives, including the consequences of the disease or its treatment on their daily lives and functioning. Coping poorly with both physical and psychological challenges may lead to an impaired quality of life. Sex­uality is one aspect of the quality of life that is important for many patients and partners that may be adversely affected by a cardiac event. The World Health Organization defines sexual health as “…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of dis­ease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences …” The key points can be summarized as follows:

  1. Safe timing of a return to sexual activity after a cardiac event, as it has been addressed by the American Heart Association, and decreased sexual activity among cardiac patients is frequently reported.
  2. Rates of erectile dysfunction (ED) among men with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are twice as high as in the general population.
  3. ED and vaginal dryness may appear 1–3 years after the onset of angina pectoris, however only a small percentage of those with sexual dysfunction seek medical care.
  4. Routine assessment of sexual problems and sexual counseling should, therefore, be a part of effective management by physicians, nurses, and other health­care providers.

sexual activity –  guidelines –  counseling –  cardiovascular disease


Steinke EE, Jaarsma T, Barnason SA et al. Sexual counselling for individuals with cardiovascular dis­ease and their partners. a consensus document from the American Heart Association and the ESC Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions (CCNAP). Eur Heart J 2013; 34: 3217– 3235. doi: 10.1093/ eurheartj/ eht270.

Paediatric cardiology Internal medicine Cardiac surgery Cardiology
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