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August 1983

Myocardial Infarction and Sexual Activity of the Female Patient

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, South Baltimore General Hospital (Dr Papadopoulos), the University of Maryland School of Medicine (Dr Papadopoulos), and the Center for Research and Evaluation, University of Maryland School of Nursing (Mss Beaumont and Larrimore and Dr Shelley), Baltimore.

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(8):1528-1530. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350080034009

• Although successful rehabilitation of cardiac patients should include consideration of their sexuality, there is a paucity of data regarding the sexual activity of female patients who have had myocardial infarctions. We report on interviews with 130 such patients. Sexual concerns soon developed in 30% of those sexually active before the myocardial infarction. Fear of resumption of sexual activity was expressed by 51% of the patients and 44% of the husbands. Sexual activity was not resumed by 27%, was unchanged by 27%, and was decreased by 44%. Only 45% of the total group received sexual instructions before discharge, and in only 18% of cases did the physician raise the topic. Symptoms during intercourse were reported by 57% of the patients. Myocardial infarction has a negative impact on the sexuality of the female patient, and although many patients who have had myocardial infarction desire sexual counseling, their demands are still not being met. Accurate and complete sexual instructions of both partners with specific attention to the woman's concerns and needs should be part of cardiac rehabilitation.

(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:1528-1530)