S3x, a trigger for heart attack?
It's common to hear of a man suddenly collapsing and dying in a hotel room while having s3x. It is also common for men with heart problems to ask if it is safe for them to continue to have s3x. But in real life, the s3xual activity very rarely causes cardiac arrest.
A new study reassuringly reports that overall, s3x is linked to only one percent of all cases of cardiac arrest that occur in men.
Researchers analysed information from more than 4,500 people who experienced sudden cardiac arrest between 2002 and 2015 in Portland, Oregon, United States.
The sudden cardiac arrest occurs when an electrical impulse goes awry and the heart suddenly stops beating, halting blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. It usually causes death, if it's not treated within minutes.
Unless it is treated with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), it can be fatal. This is different from a heart attack, where blood flow to the heart is blocked.
The 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that among these cases, less than one percent of cardiac arrests occurred during or within one hour of s3xual intercourse.
Also, in the rare instances in which s3x was linked with cardiac arrest, almost all of the cases - 94 percent - were in men. Moreover, among men, about one in 100 cases of cardiac arrest was linked with s3x, compared with just one in 1,000 cases among women.
In the study, people who experienced a sudden cardiac arrest during s3x tended to be slightly younger, around 60 years old on the average, than those who had a sudden cardiac arrest at other times, who were around 65 years old on the average.
But those who had a sudden cardiac arrest during s3x were just as likely to have a heart condition or be on heart medication as those who had a sudden cardiac arrest at other times.
s3xual activity is an important aspect of quality of life and brings health and mortality benefits.
According to Dr Surajudeen Adefabi Ogunyemi, a consultant cardiologist at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile Ife, Osun State, instances abound of s3x-related stroke and cardiac arrest that is often taken to be magun (literally meaning 'don't climb' in Yoruba land) in the community.
Dr Ogunyemi said autopsy report of some s3x-related deaths indicates the victim having enlarged heart due to an age-long uncontrolled high blood pressure. Also, in some cases, autopsy reports also find massive bleeding into the brain, what is medically termed stroke.
He said there is a possibility of sudden deaths occurring when an enlarged heart stops beating or a blood vessel bursts in the brain in someone with high blood pressure due to s3x, which could be an intense activity.
'I have managed two or three cases of stroke from s3x even in young couples. For people who have coronary heart diseases, exertion can also precipitate a heart attack, and we have seen instances. We are trying to document some; very soon, it will be published,' Dr Ogunyemi declared.
Should individuals diagnosed with a heart problem or with a previous experience of heart attack abstain from s3x to prevent a cardiac arrest? Dr Ogunyemi declared that each case needs to be treated separately before they could be advised on whether to abstain from s3x or not.
He added that the couple must be educated on know the extent they could go based on batteries of tests to ascertain how far their bodies can cope with the exertion that comes with s3x.
s3x, generally, is safe for most heart patients, unless they are unable to maintain even low levels of activity or have symptoms that keep them from doing daily chores like making the bed or cleaning the house.
Dr Ogunyemi urged individuals to know their blood pressure values, adding 'the majority of these cases are from blood pressure and those who have heart problems like heart failure and arrhythmia. It is just like somebody playing football that just collapsed and died; s3x is similar. s3x is an extreme exertion.'
Dr Adewunmi Adebowale, a consultant nephrologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos, stated that although s3x-related cardiac arrest is rare, it could occur in a person that already has some background issues around the heart or is probably the hypertensive or diabetic.
According to him, 'really, in such an instance, the heart was only looking for an excuse to fail. Already something was going on in the heart. If it is a good heart, then s3x would not cause any problem with it.'
Moreover, he pointed out that some deaths people link to magun or voodoo in the community might be s3x-related cardiac attack or stroke.
Dr Adebowale said that to avoid s3x-related cardiac arrest, men are usually advised to also have a regular cardiac evaluation if they need to take s3x-enhancing pills to improve their libido.
According to him, 'it is also for this same reason that people are asked to undergo cardiac tests like ECG and ECHO when registering at the gymnasium.'
Moreover, Professor Razak Adebayo, also a consultant cardiologist, OAUTH complex, Ile Ife, said there are no studies to ascertain the number of s3x-related cardiac arrests in Nigeria, although anecdotal evidence suggests that some cases of magun in the community are actually the s3x-related cardiac failure in individuals with hearts that are not healthy.
Professor Adebayo added that when heart attacks occur during or after s3x, they almost always involve older men in extramarital affairs with younger women. They die to have s3x with younger women who are not their wives, typically in a hotel room and/or after eating and drinking heavily.
Researchers said that despite the benefits of s3xual activity outweighing risks, more men die during s3x mixing s3x-enhancing pills with alcohol, using equipment to enhance the s3xual pleasure, through sensitivity to latex condoms and joystick/manhood captivus.
Joystick/manhood captivus is a rare occurrence during intercourse when the muscles of the vagina clamp down on the penis much firmer than usual and make it impossible for the man to withdraw.