Sex After Heart Surgery

Valve Replacement Forums

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N

NC-Cutie

I am frightened of being intimate now that I have had a Mitral Valve Replacement. I think that because I can hear my valve ticking and any excitement causes it to tick faster, It frightens me. I am 44 years old and in the prime of my life. I don't know what to do about this fear. I am only 5 and a half weeks post op, but I know already that this fear is going to cause problems. I feel the need to protect my new valve from excitement. I don't know what I think will happen, but I'm just not willing to take the chance.

Can some of you share your experiences with me on this.
 
M

medtronic of borg

ridem cowboy!!!

ridem cowboy!!!

Two weeks after my surgery I was in the heat of the moment. Sex in reality is one of the BEST things a heart patient can do. Although it seems to be a heck of a work out...it really is considered on the minor side. So go for it!!!! The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.

Med

PS Granted we took it easy the first couple of times.
 

Johnny Stephens

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Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Messages
1,140
Location
Seattle, WA
Another common area of concern for a lot of people, including yours truly. If you have a patient partner, just take it slow, and don't feel like you have to set any records or impress anyone the first few times out. It's part of your overall health in life, and unless the docs have given you some reason to not indulge, don't be afraid. Just take it at your own pace.

From your heart's perspective, this is just exercise. Your heart needs exercise, and the exact activity means nothing to your valves.
 

Ross

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Joined
Dec 15, 2001
Messages
25,981
Location
On The Hot Seat
Nessie I told you to go for it in your first post. Really. You are not a fragile egg that would break apart. Take that valve for a test spin. Put it through some serious testing. I'm sure you'll find there is nothing to be afraid of. Enjoy your new life! ;)
 

Rich

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Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
1,314
Location
S.E. Mi
We had a little fun about two weeks after surgery.
Heck I was in such lousy shape prior to surgery there was no way we would even consider such a thing.
Like the rest said the heart needs some exercise so go for it.
I'm almost eight years post-op and nearing 66 yrs old but were not quiting anytime soon.
So enjoy the new lease on life that you have.
 

Nancy

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Joined
Jun 9, 2001
Messages
9,896
Location
upstate New York
Have you considered cardiac rehab to get you over this fear of revving your heart up? It has done wonders for so many people. They start you out very gradually and monitor you all the way in a medical setting. Might be a way to go.
 
N

NC-Cutie

Thanks guys. Although I hear all of this, I am still afraid. The good thing about my life is that my man is 5 hours away. We have been in a long distance relationship for 2 years now and we have traveled back and forth twice a month and sometimes more. He was with me during surgery and a week after. I have encouraged him to not come down since because I know that I'm afraid of what might happen. Lucky for me, he is very patient and understanding and wants me to take my time to heal. I'm just not sure that I will ever feel comfortable having sex. I love sex. I was getting tired easy before surgery but we still had a very good sex life. Now, I'm not sure if I can be the "Bad Girl" I use to be in the bedroom.
 

Nancy

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Jun 9, 2001
Messages
9,896
Location
upstate New York
Don't make any rash judgements about your future life based on how you feel right now. Many have felt much the same as you have and as things improve gradually, they start to realize that they are not going to fall apart.

For Heaven's sake, if anyone was going to fall apart it would have been my husband. He's had 3 valve surgeries, 2 lung surgeries, has a pacemaker, has CHF, has pulmonary hypertension, diminished lung capacity, had a massive bleedout after gallbladder surgery that almost put him six feet under, had the most terrible case of serum sickness that anyone had seen in 17 years. He almost died from that as well, I was told not to go home.

Last year at about this time, he was in such terrible shape from severe pulmonary hypertension and kidney failure and Stage 4 CHF, and severe anemia, that he was slipping into a coma. He spent a couple of weeks in the Heart transplant Unit of the teaching hospital here, and another couple of weeks in the critical cardiac unit.

He's still here and improving every day. He can walk over a mile on the treadmill and do light weights as well. He's 72.

And Joe's not the only one on this board who's been through many meat grinders. All kinds of stuff! We even have a member with 5 valves, one manufactured one outside her heart. I hope she tells her story, it's very interesting.

So---your body is much stronger than you could ever imagine. Don't give up hope. You REALLY, REALLY will get better, I promise!

Don't think of taking big steps right now, just take little baby steps and they will build on each other.
 
N

NC-Cutie

Reading all of the things that has gone on with Nancy's husband makes me feel more Blessed than I already felt. I am not complaining about anything, just concerned. I know how blessed I am and I know that each day will get better. I am going to start Cardiac Rehab after I see my new Cardiologist next week. The surgeon thinks it will help my fears. I acknowledge the fact that it could be worse and I am one of the lucky ones. I know I need to take it one step at a time but I am so use to bouncing right back. I have had surgeries before and recovered a lot sooner than expected, so I guess I just wanted it to happen this time too. And it isn't. One day at a time is what I need to take, but I am so ready to get back into the swing of things.
 

Ross

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Dec 15, 2001
Messages
25,981
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On The Hot Seat
Sex is like riding a bike, you never forget and animal instinct takes over. Pitch the fear out the window and have some fun!
 

Granbonny

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Joined
Apr 21, 2002
Messages
5,710
Location
Georgia
Hi Cutie

Hi Cutie

Where do you live in N.C....A big state..and I'm only an hour away from Franklin, N.C....the Mountains. My grandson's mother lives in Thomasville..High Point area......Cuddling is just as much fun as sex....:p :p :p :p And if your man cannot understand..ditch him:p :p :p :p :p If he really loves you..he can wait.:p :p :p :p until..you feel normal again....and you will.:D Bonnie
 

Nancy

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Jun 9, 2001
Messages
9,896
Location
upstate New York
Hi NC-Cutie-

I didn't tell you all those things to say that things could be worse, I mentioned them because I want you to realize that the human body is designed to take a terrible beating and it can heal. We're almost as good as those Star Trek guys who could heal themselves, just a little slower.

The other thing you've got to remember is to Never give in and Never give up. Keep plugging away. Always be trying to improve just a little on what you did yesterday. Think of all the members here who've traveled your road. They're doing well, and so will you.

You mentioned that your man was away from you at this time, but I'm hoping you have someone who is helping you through all of this. Your're not alone are you?
 

Rush20

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Joined
Jan 14, 2004
Messages
265
Location
Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch, FL. (Heart Still In Chi
I recommend some candles, maybe some wine and a some soft jazz playing on the bedroom stereo. Let nature take over from there...:)

Seriously, I also was concerned the first few times I tried out my new aortic valve. Just hearing it during the "event" made me nervous. However, my wife was there (obviously :cool: ) and she made sure I was comfortable and relaxed. Now that I have passed the 6-month mark, things are back to normal. Just give it time.
 
N

NC-Cutie

I am not alone. I have a 24 year old daughter, a 26 year old son, 6 sisters, 4 brothers and many nieces and nephews. I also have church members and friends. I am just the type of person who will block everyone out when I'm going through things. I feel I have to deal with everything along. My man, although 5 hours away is very caring and loving. We talk five or six times a day and he keeps me going. I have a great support system, but I have not shared my fears with many of them.
 
M

medtronic of borg

you creating your oun fear

you creating your oun fear

can I be blunt for a moment....your not listening!

Or.....has there been an abortation in your sex life before your heart condition acted up?

Med
 
N

NC-Cutie

I had a normal sex life prior to surgery. In fact, I had a great sex life. It's just that now, I feel that if I get excited something will happen. I don't know what I think will happen, but I am afraid. It's almost to the point of not even wanting to be touched at all. I am a very physical person. Or at least I was. But now, I feel the need to keep emotions and excitement at a minimal. I can't explain it. Maybe I do need help.
 
K

Karlynn

Just wondering if any of your hesitancy and/or fear may have to do with post OHS depression? That certainly would not be unheard of.
 
N

NC-Cutie

Yes, I do think I am dealing with some Post op depression. I think it has a lot to do with all of the fears I have. My doctor wants to put me on an anti-depressant but I don't really want to take anything. I want to try and conquer these fears on my own.
 

ALCapshaw2

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Joined
Mar 20, 2003
Messages
6,910
Location
North Alabama
Hey Cutie,

I second Nancy's recommendation for Cardiac Rehab.

There, you will be tested and monitored by Cardiac Nurses as you GRADUALLY increase your exercise level. By the time you 'graduate' you should be ready for 'anything' :D

You will need a prescription for Rehab from either your Cardiologist or your Surgeon. Hopefully your insurance will cover it. If not, then at least attend some sessions, watch what they do, and ask questions of the nurses. They should have some handouts of recommended stretches and exercises that you could do at home with someone watching 'just in case'. A Heart Rate Monitor and Blood Pressure Tester would be good investments even if you go get approval for Rehab.

In a few more weeks, you should feel even more energetic and hopefully more confident in your new heart and valve.

'AL'
 
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