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Cardiac

Sex and Relationships

Sex and relationships are important to think about. In the UK, the age of consent is 16 years old. You should only have sex if you feel ready and it should always be agreed by both people involved.

If you have a cardiac condition you may be concerned about if there may be an impact on or risk to your heart. You can talk to your team about any worries or questions you have. There is no need to be embarrassed asking your healthcare team about sex, they are used to talking about it, and everything you tell a doctor or nurse is confidential. It is important to be aware that some heart drugs can cause decreased sexual interest. If you are in the process of transition you will start to see your team on your own and this can be a good time to talk to them about sex and relationships.

Arrangements should also be made for birth control; it is very important to find out whether pregnancy poses a risk to you. Ideally pregnancy in women with heart problems needs to be planned even before conception! Your fitness for pregnancy i.e. whether your heart will cope with the extra work that pregnancy places upon it, or whether or not it is safe for you to become pregnant, should be discussed in advance of becoming pregnant. Certain medications also need to be stopped prior to pregnancy and this should only be done in agreement with your specialist cardiologist.

If you have a congenital heart problem and wish to become, or you are already pregnant, there are specific issues you need to consider and be aware of.