Doylestown Hospital
595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (215) 345-2200
V.I.A. Health System
Directions & Parking Nav Spacer Contact Us Nav Spacer Community Benefits Nav Spacer Donate Online Nav Spacer Bill Pay Online Nav Spacer Access Medical Records
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Meet Our Cardiologists
Heart Failure Causes and Symptoms
Joint Commission
Activity Level and Restrictions
Reading Food Nutrition Labels
Diet Tips
Controling Fluid Intake
Daily Weight
Heart Failure Medications
Home Care for Heart Patients
Testing for Heart Failure
Guidelines for Sexual Activity
Smoking Cessation
Heart Failure Support Group Meetings

Guidelines for Sexual Activity

Some people who have heart failure experience impotence or loss of sexual pleasure. This can be caused by:

  • Heart failure which decreases blood supply to your body
  • Fears or concerns that sex may make heart failure worse
  • Side effects of some medications

In most cases, heart failure should not interfere with sexual activity. You can compare the amount of energy needed for sexual activity to climbing two flights of stairs. The following guidelines may help minimize the workload on your heart during sexual activity:

  • Improve your physical condition through exercise
  • Allow for unrestricted breathing
  • Be well rested
  • Keep room temperature comfortable
  • Abstain on days your are not feeling well


Stop doing any physical activity if you start to feel pain in your chest, get dizzy, lightheaded or short of breath.

Do NOT STOP any medicines because you think it is affecting your sexual activity. Some medicines may have an effect on sexual functioning.  Your doctor may be able to change your medicine. Please discuss any concerns about your sexual activity with your doctor.

Heart Failure Society of America