A 35 year old woman was having sex, when suddenly she felt weakness in her arm, could hardly speak, also experiencing numbness on one side of her face. Those were the common symptoms of a stroke. The woman was taken to a hospital, where it was concluded that several factors triggered a stroke for her, including birth control pills, blood clot, heart defect and sexual intercourse.
It is known that women using oral contraceptives have higher risk of developing blood clots. In the given case, a blood clot was probably formed in the thigh and then went to the heart's right atrium, researchers explain. During the sexual intercourse, the changes in pressure and patient's heart defect caused the clot to travel to the brain that resulted in a stroke, Dr. Jose Biller, co-author of the report and chairman of the Department of Neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
The woman had a hole in her heart, a rare condition called a patent foramen ovale, that occurs in about 1 out of 4 people. So far, there were four patients with this condition, who suffered from strokes after sexual intercourse.
Sex and Health Risks
Many men and women are concerned about the risk of having health problems from sex. Can you suddenly have a heart attack or even die from sex? There were little studies done on this subject, however there is some statistical data on this topic.
- According to the Cape Town cardiologist Dr Sean Latouf, the real data on the heart attack risks from sex are as follows. For a 45-year old man with no history of diabetes, angina, increased cholesterol level, the risk of heart attack from sex is one in one million. Otherwise, if a man has some of the conditions related to heart disease, his risk is still quite low: 10 in one million. If a man had sexual intercourse in the previous two hours his risk slightly increases to two in one million.
- Sex after having abundant meal and alcohol slightly increases the risk of heart attack.
Erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Viagra taken with other medication such as nitrates, often found in anti-angina medications, and especially with other erectile dysfunction drugs can pose a serious risk for heart attack.
- The risks of heart attack from sex can be compared to the one of fast walking. If you feel good after a ten-minutes high-speed walk, you should not worry about the risks. Besides, men who exercise regularly, have the lowest risk.
- One of the most common causes of death from sex for women is due to air embolism, the condition when air bubbles get into the blood stream. According to West Yorkshire study conducted by Dr Philip Batman, this often happened, if a woman had sex shortly after giving birth, induced abortion, and oral sex.
- The researchers claim that death from sex is quite uncommon, but men and women should be warned of these small risks.