Heart Disease & Sexual Health


Heart Disease & Sexual Health

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Physicians lag behind patients in their inclination to discuss sexual activity and sexual function. One survey of coronary patients found that 81% of men and 64% of women desired a discussion of sexual function with their cardiologist. Only 3% of men and 18% of women indicated they received adequate information.

Cardiologists comment:
Medical options like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis have revolutionized treatment for erectile dysfunction. Patients are deluged with media exposure about treatments for sexual dysfunction, a topic once considered taboo. ED is frequently present in patients with cardiovascular disease and we routinely inquire about sexual function.

If you have ED, a medical evaluation is necessary. It is important to look for evidence of underlying cardiac disease and to treat risk factors. In some cases, a stress test is necessary to determine whether sexual activity is safe and before prescribing ED medications.

Never feel embarrassed to discuss erectile dysfunction with your doctor. Always tell your doctor whether you are taking ED medications and never obtain these medications over the Internet and without your doctor's prescription. Some individuals have mistakenly obtained ineffective, counterfeit drugs online. Remember that erectile dysfunction is just another medical condition that can now be treated with modern science. Perhaps the 18th-century German dramatist, Goethe said it best, "Gladly I think of the days when all my members were limber – all except one. Those days are certainly gone, now allmy members are stiff – all except one." —Franklin H. Zimmerman, MD

This article first appeared in the November/December 2007 issue of Heart & Health Reports. For a subscription, call 1-877-HEART-12.


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Last Modified Date: May 15, 2013

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