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Getting fast heartbeat during intercourse. No chest pain, no high blood pressure. Any complication?

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Practicing since : 2003
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my husband is 57 years old and has been having this problem for about a year where he begins having very strong heartbeats during intercourse. Once this begins, he loses erection and often can't get it back again. He never gets chest pain, runs 8kms 3 times a week and doesn't have high blood pressure. I'm worried that it might be some problem arising with his heart that's causing this. I would appreciate your advice.
Posted Sun, 5 May 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 1 hour later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic.
Thanks for your query.

From the description of your symptoms, there could be two likely causes. One could be a cardiac-related problem. During sexual intercourse, there is increased sympathetic nervous system activity, which along with the physical exertion, can put a strain on the heart. If there is an underlying cardiac problem, this added strain can result in symptoms like palpitations.

The other possibility could be a mild panic attack. It is known that panic attacks can get triggered during sexual intercourse, due to the physiological and hormonal changes, and these panic attacks can manifest as palpitations.

The sudden onset of these palpitations could be resulting in distress and anxiety, which are causing him to lose his sexual arousal and erection.

So, I would suggest that your husband has a proper cardiac evaluation done in order to rule out any underlying cardiac problem. This will include a detailed physical examination and investigations like ECG, Treadmill, etc. Further treatment will depend on the cause identified.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist & Sexologist
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