Acute myocardial infarction is a cardiovascular event that can adversely affect your capability to have erections. More commonly referred to as a heart attack, an acute myocardial infarction happens when your heart muscles die because your heart isn’t getting enough oxygen for a prolonged period of time.
Sexual dysfunctions after a heart attack are common in both men and women. Reduced libido or interest in sex is also a typical result of having experienced acute myocardial infarction. Learn more about the relationship between acute myocardial infarction and erectile dysfunction.
A life-threatening condition, acute myocardial infarction often results from one of the coronary arteries being blocked. When there’s something blocking the flow of blood in your coronary artery, the oxygen supply to your heart gets either reduced or cut off since your coronary artery is the blood vessel that delivers oxygen-rich blood to your heart.
Blockages in the coronary arteries may be caused by plaque composed of fat and cholesterol. When there’s a lot of plaque building up inside your coronary arteries, the condition is called coronary artery atherosclerosis.
In the human body, when a muscle or tissue doesn’t get enough oxygen, it begins to die. The same goes for your heart muscles when they’re exposed to a prolonged lack of oxygen-rich blood supply. When your heart muscles die, your heart can malfunction and this can trigger a heart attack.
Myocardial Infarction and Erectile Dysfunction
The relationship between erectile dysfunction and myocardial infarction is quite complex. For one, recent studies have shown that erectile dysfunction is an early warning sign of coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
This means that if you’re already starting to have weak erections, your heart and blood vessels may no longer be in their optimal state. In fact, experts suggest that men consulting their doctors for erectile dysfunction should be examined for possible heart diseases.
Erectile dysfunction is common among men with problematic blood vessels and poor heart health. This means that even before a heart attack, many men already suffer from an impaired erectile function. However, a heart attack further aggravates the problem by causing erectile dysfunction to worsen.
In men who were sexually active prior to an acute myocardial infarction incident, a heart attack can lead to the loss of one’s ability to achieve penile tumescence. In fact, studies report that the prevalence of erectile dysfunction after an acute myocardial infarction ranges from 20% to around 40%.
In truth, not everyone who suffers from an acute myocardial infarction loses their sexual ability. However, the percentage of those who develop a sexual dysfunction after a heart attack is significantly high.
In a 2016 study, for instance, it was shown that almost 46% of men and 60% of women develop a sexual problem within a year after their heart attack incident. This study involved more than 2,800 patients who were aged between 18 and 55 years.
The researchers further reported that 22% of the men developed erectile dysfunction after a heart attack, while 19% experienced a drop in their desire for sex. Among the female patients who participated in the study, 40% experienced a reduction in their libido and 22% developed vaginal lubrication problems.
What’s even more unfortunate is that among these young heart attack patients, 5%-6% never engaged in sexual activities again even a year after an acute myocardial infarction. On the other hand, among the patients who were sexually active prior to their heart attack, more than 50% were able to resume their sexual activities within a month.
Furthermore, the researchers also noted that heart attack patients who do not discuss the possibility of resuming sex after their heart attack incident are more likely to take a lot longer before they resume sexual activities, if ever they actually get to engage in sex again.
Moreover, the study showed that several factors affect the chances of a heart attack patient resuming sexual activities within a year after the incident. Such factors include older age, diabetes, being single or unpartnered, and higher stress levels. When these factors are present, the patient is more likely to never engage in sexual activities again after the attack.
The loss of erectile function after an acute myocardial infarction may also be due to psychological factors. If you’re too afraid that engaging in sex may trigger another heart attack, you may prefer not engaging in sex ever again. Hence, the reduced interest in sex and the psychologically-induced erectile dysfunction.
In addition, depression and sexual performance anxiety may also play important roles in the development of erectile dysfunction after a heart attack. It’s been shown repeatedly through numerous scientific studies that depression can indeed cause erectile dysfunction.
If you’re not sure whether you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction due to psychological reasons or if it’s due to damaged blood vessels, nocturnal spontaneous erections can tell you which one is causing the problem.
If after your cardiac incident you have experienced waking up to an erect penis, then the problem is most likely caused by psychological reasons such as fear of experiencing another attack or sexual performance anxiety.
Dealing With Erectile Dysfunction
For men who are struggling with an impaired erectile function after an acute myocardial infarction, one of the first things you should do to deal with impotence is to talk to your doctor about it. Your physician can tell you about the safety of sexual activities after a heart attack and can give you expert advice on how you can manage erectile dysfunction.
You can also talk to your doctor about natural ways to improve your erectile function while you’re recovering from a heart attack. You can also ask your doctor about herbal supplements that may be able to help you with your problem.
Herbal supplement, a safe and effective supplement, can help you restore your erectile function. This contains herbal ingredients that have a long history of usage as traditional remedies for impotence, reduced libido, as well as other male sexual problems.
Some of the libido and erection-boosting ingredients found in these supplements include maca, Tribulus terrestris, Tongkat Ali, and horny goat weed. It also contains Butea superba, damiana, and muira puama.