Heart stroke
Heart strokeReuters

Impaired sexual function arises at a quicker rate compared to the incidence of depression and at a similar rate in comparison to loss of general physical function after a heart attack, according to a research by University of Chicago Medical Center.

The research, published on Aug. 31, 2016, also revealed that having problems related to sexual dysfunction is a common phenomena than getting depressed after facing heart attacks.

The researchers noticed that when it comes to women's health, doctors don't deal with these issues properly.

"Too often physicians and researchers are too embarrassed to ask questions about sexual health, and yet these issues are important to many people," stated Harlan Krumholz, one of the authors in charge of the study.

"We need to concern ourselves with gaining knowledge about how to help our patients achieve a high quality of life in all aspects of their lives," Krumholz added.

Women were believed to have more possibilities of facing sexual impairments as the chances of them being advised by the doctor were lesser while they recovered post heart attack.

Researchers conducted the study on 2,802 patients from 127 hospitals located in the US and Spain, 1,889, or 67.4 percent, of them were women, and their average age was 49 years.

It was found that in 1 year, the difficulties faced regarding sexual function was reported by less than half of the men, i.e., 46 percent, and by more than half of the women, which totalled to 59 percent during the recovery period post their heart attack.

The researchers found that if doctors talk and enquire regarding sexual health and problems from their patients after they faced heart stroke, the patients would probably continue having an active sex life.

"The next step is to design the optimal intervention to improve sexual function outcomes after heart attack for men and women," said the author of the research Stacy Tessler Lindau.

"The rehabilitation phase begins with the cardiologist counselling the patient about her or his functional capabilities and what she or he can expect, including physical, psychological, and sexual function," she said further.