Atrial fibrillation and Sex

Patients with AF may experience sexual problems for 3 main reasons:

  1. Anxiety about whether they may be harming their heart or risking making their AF worse.
  2. Co-morbidities such as Diabetes, hypertension and vascular disease can cause erectile dysfunction in men
  3. Medications used in AF such as betablockers can also cause erectile dysfunction in men

There is no evidence or good reason why patients with AF can’t have or shouldn’t have sex. In fact, lack of sexual activity as a consequence of unfounded fear can feed anxiety and depression and affect emotional health negatively. There is also no good evidence that sex is a trigger for an AF episode.

In patients who take beta blockers, it can be helpful to switch to another type of beta blocker to see if the erectile dysfunction improves. Of all the beta blockers, Nebivolol is associated with the least likelihood of causing erectile dysfunction

Patients with AF can use Viagra safely provided there are no other contraindications such as concomitant use of nitrates or nicorandil. We recommend that patients consult with their doctor to confirm that there are no other good reasons to preclude use of Viagra.

About the Author:

I'm Dr Sanjay Gupta, a Consultant Cardiologist with specialist interest in Cardiac Imaging at York Teaching Hospital in York, UK. I believe that high quality reliable jargon-free information about health should be available at no cost to everyone in the world.


  1. Ks 24th January 2021 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the article. Do you have concerns about optic nerve damage , though rare, with vagrant use?

  2. Ks 24th January 2021 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Correction to 24.1.21…vagrant should read as viagra

Leave A Comment