We look at some of the potential health dangers that are involved during sex.

The 7 hazardous side-effects of the horizontal tango.


1) Heart attack

The notion that sex can actually bring about a heart attack has actually be around for some time and it has been found that the average 50 year old male who is a non smoker doubles the odds of a heart attack when they have sex.

However, if you have had a stroke or heart trouble, the chance of sex causing a heart attack is about two in a million which is double the risk for healthy people in the hours after sexual intercourse.

Although heart attacks during sex are rare, no one wants to be among the unlucky few who die while getting lucky. So if you have cardiovascular disease (CVD), or even if it runs in your family, it's important to ask your doctor what type of sexual activity is safe.


2) Carpal tunnel syndrome

According to research published in Medical Hypotheses journal, the extra weight put on your wrists during sexual intercourse is probably a major contributing factor to carpal tunnel syndrome. And the data that helps prove this shows an increase in carpal tunnel syndrome with the introduction of medications like Viagra and the ever-worsening obesity epidemic.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this syndrome before, it is the irritation of the median nerve which causes tingling and numbness of the thumb, index, and the middle fingers.

The wrist is surrounded by a band of tough tissue that normally functions as a support for the joint. The tight space between this fibrous band and the wrist bone is called the carpal tunnel. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel to receive sensations from the thumb, index, and middle fingers of the hand. Any condition that causes swelling or a change in position of the tissue within the carpal tunnel can squeeze and irritate the median nerve.

The fact that sex is the most widely practiced activity that uses both hands at the same time only strengthens the hypothesis. However, the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome drops off later in life coinciding with a decrease in sexual activity.

And you thought your carpal tunnel syndrome was from typing on the computer!


3) Pregnancy problems

We all know that potentially one outcome of having sex can lead to pregnancy and while this isn’t a health hazard and having sex while pregnant doesn’t cause miscarriage, premature labour or any other complication; if you have a low lying placenta having sex may be a risk.

This exception should be especially adhered to if this has caused bleeding during pregnancy. Other times that when sex should be avoided when you are pregnant is if you’re leaking amniotic fluid, you have placenta previa or you are at risk from preterm labour.

Many couples worry that sex during pregnancy will cause a miscarriage, especially in the first trimester. But sex isn't a concern. Early miscarriages are usually related to chromosomal abnormalities or other problems in the developing baby, not to anything you do or don't do.


4) Male injuries

A common battle scar for men from their bedroom activities can be a rip in the skin connecting the foreskin and the penis and this is known as a torn frenulum. It heals but with a scar, which is likely to tear again so it is best to avoid sex for a couple of days. It’s a relatively common problem and once it has totally healed both men and women can reduce their risk of genital cuts and tears from sex using a condom or extra lubrication to cut your chances of further trouble.

However, it is not only men who suffer from small tears as this is also common for women. Many have had the experience of noticing slight bleeding from vaginal sex as a result of getting tiny cuts or tears in their vagina or vulva as a result of intense friction from sex.


5) ‘Fractures’

You may think this is one of those crazy sex myths, but penis fractures can happen and a guy can actually fracture their penis during sex which is a crack caused by the rigid tissue snapping during gymnastic sex. Most reported cases happen when the woman is on top of the man or when the man gets slightly carried away and thrusts deeply into their partner with a great deal of vigor and hitting hard against the pubic bone.

Penile fractures are usually accompanied by a popping sound and then an immediate loss of erection for the man followed, some hours later, by bruising and severe pain. A penis fracture requires urgent medical attention and a fracture can usually be diagnosed with a physical exam, and prompt surgical repair is typically recommended. Left untreated, a penis fracture may result in deformity of the penis or the inability to have or maintain an erection.

The penis is made of two sponge like bodies, which fill up with blood when you have an erection and that's what gives penises rigidity. When it's really over bent or when you apply too much pressure, the penis can break and what is breaking is the layer of fibre sheath.

Sex isn't the only way a man can break his penis as any time the penis is hit while erect, damage can occur. On the other hand If it's flaccid, you cannot have a penile fracture.


6) Girly pains

It is very common for women to experience pain during intercourse at some point during their lives. However, pain during intercourse can detract from an enjoyable experience which is not good, and it might also signal more serious problems. The discomfort which can be experienced during intercourse can be down to the ovaries being bumped during sex causing a pain deep inside. This is a common pain for women and can be alleviated by changing the depth and position of penetration. As soon as you feel the pain, it is important to stop and change positions. On the other hand it could be ovarian cysts.

Another possibility may be that it's your cervix that is hurting. Many women tend to have tender cervixes throughout different times in their cycles.

On the whole if the pain continues to occur, you should make an appointment with a health care provider for an evaluation.


7) Headache

Headaches are never fun, but they can be downright frustrating when they occur after sex. If you're unfortunate enough to experience this symptom, you're not alone. While having a headache is used by some women to turn down the advances of their partner and therefore is just seen as an excuse, a throbbing headache can actually be the result of sex which happens during or after the act itself.

This orgasm headache is a type of migraine called ‘benign coital headache’ which tends to happen before or at climax. Although benign coital or orgasmic headaches are very painful, and obviously limit sexual enjoyment, they present no other acute threat. They are thought to result from muscle contraction, and/or blood vessel dilation, in the head and neck during sex.

However, the other type of headache that can occur is the ‘new onset’ severe headache during sex. This is a first time headache, which is generally characterised as the worst headache of a personas life. This type of sex headache is a serious emergency until proven otherwise. Such a headache is often due to an acute brain haemorrhage or other serious condition. Fortunately, this type of first onset headache is fairly unusual, but when it does occur it can represent a life threatening emergency, which requires emergency evaluation and treatment.