We have all heard horrid stories of people who have suffered injury or - worse - death during love.

Be it a heart attack, stroke, or bleeding from having love too soon after giving birth, all this can lead to anxiety about getting back in the sack after one has survived a life-threatening illness or after your body has undergone drastic changes that may come with pregnancy.

An illness is much more to worry about when thoughts of one more thrust triggering another heart attack dominate your mind.

Can your excitement during love lead to a relapse?

Dr Richard Dithipe, a general practitioner in Tlhabane, Rustenburg, outlines the implications of having love after an illness while counselling psychologist Nthabiseng Mogashoa tells us how one can get over their fears and enjoy love again after recovering from an illness or giving birth.


It is an undeniable fact that some people have suffered heart attacks in the heat of passion.

Post the heart attack, a lot of anxiety can be built up over fear of trying again.

For some people, the logic is simple: because of the workout during love, the sweating and rapid heartbeat - surely that can affect one's heart again?

According to Dithipe, this is highly unlikely.
"One definitely needs to take it easy after any cardio-related illness, but love after a heart attack is unlikely to cause another heart attack. In fact, many cardiologists advise on getting some exercise to keep your heart healthy, and love can be a great exercise for your heart," Dithipe says.
"Most people' s fear of love after a heart attack stems from the belief that love is one of the major causes of a heart attack, which is not true.

"In fact, love ranks very low among the reasons for a heart attack. Yes, it has been known to happen, but usually there are other factors at play, like obesity and being over 50.

"A history of cardiovascular disease can also be a contributing factor."
Dithipe says that after a heart attack it is advisable to resume your love life after about two months and to take it slow.

Mogashoa says that fears about love after a heart attack need to be ironed out by open communication.

"It is important to tell your partner your fears so that they do not assume that you are rejecting them.

"This anxiety can be supplemented by a lot of intimacy without actual penetration, like cuddling, touching and oral love, until the partner feels ready to take it up a notch," she says.


Just like a heart attack, Dithipe says that the risks of love triggering another stroke are highly unlikely.

Mogashoa says: "About six to eight weeks should be sufficient to resume your love life after a stroke. Love will not cause another stroke, however, both partners need to proceed with caution and should stop immediately if there is any pain or discomfort, any heart palpitations or shortness of breath."

She says that the apprehension about love after a stroke can be more psychological than physical.

"One may have lost their speech ability after the stroke, or may be experiencing physical disabilities, and this may leave them with a feeling of being unsexy or unappealing to their partner.
"In order to resume a normal love life, one would need to have a very supportive partner who can reassure them that love transcends the physical and that this is just a temporary state that both partners can overcome together.

"With this reassurance, gradually a normal love life can be resumed."


Some women experience a disinterest in love after giving birth, which Mogashoa says is absolutely normal.

"Some women have to adjust to motherhood and all the sleepless nights that come with nurturing a newborn.

"Being in a sexy mood may be the last thing on their minds. Many women can also have self-image issues and may feel unattractive to their partners," Mogashoa says.

This, she says, can also be remedied by intimacy and loving reassurance from one's partner.

From a medical point of view, Dithipe says, one should be able to resume their love life after a couple of weeks, or until the stitches have dissolved and there is zero pain.