Relationships and Sex


Chances are, you’re going to date people. You may even be lucky enough to meet someone and fall in love. Along the way, you will decide how to tell other people about your heart condition. Different people do this in different ways. Some decide to tell new people right away. Others find it harder to talk about their heart condition. Some people are worried about being judged.

Your heart condition will always be an important part of your life, so it’s only natural that you would want your friends / boyfriend / girlfriend to know about it.

Here are some tips on talking about your heart condition:

  • Wait until you’re ready to tell someone new.
  • Find a private place. The last thing you want is for the person at the next table to hear your life story!
  • Be prepared to answer questions. Don’t worry if you don’t know all of the answers. You can say that you’re still learning about your heart, too.
  • You could ask your family to be around if you need support. They might be able to answer some questions.
  • If you’re in a long-term relationship, you can bring your girlfriend/boyfriend/partner to your next clinic visit.


Sex is something you were probably taught in health class at school. But you probably didn’t ask your teacher how sex would affect your heart….right?

We can use the guidelines for exercise to guide sexual activities. This means that in general, if people can exercise, then their hearts should be okay during sex.

But, with any physical activity, it’s important to pay attention to your body. Some people with CHD should pace themselves during sex, or even stop if they get short of breath or have palpitations.

If you have exercise limits, or if you know that you have a weak pumping chamber (heart failure), or if you have a history of fast heart rates (arrhythmias) – then you should have a talk with your cardiologist. They can talk to you about what happens to your heart during sex.

It is important to let your partner know about your heart condition before you get intimate.

Of course, if you’re having sex, we hope that you’ve checked out the section on Birth Control.