Aspirus Heart & Vascular

Healthy Living

Intimacy & Heart Disease

 Women with heart disease or those who have had a heart attack or heart surgery, and their partners, may fear that sexual intercourse or intimacy will further harm their heart. Some medications can also decrease sexual desire or performance. Other emotions or symptoms that are often present in someone with an acute or chronic illness, such as pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety and a changing body image can also affect sexuality. Often, women don’t feel comfortable discussing sexual issues with their providers, or they feel this topic is not as important as the more pressing issues of the medical and surgical care they receive in the hospital. So, questions go unanswered.

Let’s address your questions. You should be able to resume intimacy after heart surgery or a heart attack. Ask your provider for guidance about when to resume and what signs to look for during sexual activity. Or, call 715-847-0477 or 888-236-2483 to make an appointment at the Aspirus Women’s Health Intimacy Clinic where your concerns are addressed in a comfortable, compassionate and open environment with our Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.


If you are the caregiver for a sick relative, you are needed. You want and are willing to help. But now you feel guilty because you are dissatisfied with the situation. What can you do to revive your helping attitude?

Click here to read information about how you can take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

Healthy Eating

What you eat affects your risk for having heart disease and poor blood circulation, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

You should eat mainly:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grains (at least half of your grains should be whole grains, such as whole wheat, whole oats, oatmeal, whole-grain corn, brown rice, wild rice, whole rye, whole-grain barley, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, and sorghum)
  • Fat-free or low-fat versions of milk, cheese, yogurt, and other milk products
  • Fish, skinless poultry, lean meats, dry beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils)
The Women's Heart Health information on the Aspirus Heart & Vascular Institute website is supported by a donation of funds raised at the 2010 Aspirus Women's Health Golf Outing.