Under normal circumstances, sex, with the right person and in the right environment, is a positive thing.
However, physicians report that in recent times, they have seen bizarre cases of patients who develop stroke minutes after having sex!
What might likely be the case, and what are the signs to watch out for? Read on.
Neurologist, Dr. Jose Biller, narrates the case of a 35-year-old female patient who had no known cardiovascular risk factors, was obviously young, healthy, and non-smoking, but she developed stroke after having sex with her boyfriend.
The incident happened a few minutes after the sex. She began complaining of numbness on the left side of her face, her speech became slurred, and her left arm became weak.
As reported in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease, physicians say it was likely that the patient’s sexual activity triggered her stroke.
“What made the case even more puzzling was the lack of typical risk factors that usually accompany the onset of stroke,” Biller says.
He says, typically, men face a higher risk of developing stroke more than women do, and that it is usually a condition that affects ageing persons.
It was later discovered that a defect in the patient’s heart predisposed her to the condition.
Dr. Biller warns that cases like these are not as rare as we might think.
To allay our fears, stroke experts say that generally, sexual intercourse is not likely to trigger a stroke without accompanying risk factors.
“There is nothing about sex that should be reported to increase stroke risk,” Medical Director, Dr. Pat Lyden, says.
“Stroke can occur any time: in the shower, on the toilet, working out in the gym or during a class.”
But the question is, what was the cause of this patient’s stroke, and what could be done to prevent it?
Experts say in the case of this 35-year-old woman, the only potential risk factor she had for developing a blood clot was the fact that she was on birth control pills — “a medication known for increasing one’s risk for developing blood clots,” Biller warns.
But were birth control pills alone to blame for the stroke? In order to find the answer, Biller and a team of neurologists investigated the patient’s medical history and also tested her heart function.
They eventually found the source of the problem: This patient had a hole in her heart that had not been previously detected!
They also discovered that she had a blood clot in one of the main veins in her right leg.
“Most likely what happened was that the clot that was in the venous system traveled to the heart, and because she had that hole, due to the pressure changes that occurred during intercourse, most likely the clot migrated from the right to the left chambers of her heart, and then from the left chamber of the heart and into the brain,” Biller explains.
All these conditions were promptly attended to, and the patient was soon on her path to recovery.
But doctors do warn that though stroke is highly uncommon in young and otherwise healthy individuals, unidentified cardiovascular abnormalities such as this patient’s hole in the heart are not as rare as many might think.
Worse still, as reveled in the journal Archives of Neurology, about one out of every four people has a hole in the heart without knowing it.
Stroke experts warn that young people with hole in the heart risk a stroke during sexual intercourse, or any other activity that could introduce pressure changes in the heart.
Lyden adds that other risk factors for stroke in young people include migraine, drug use, diseases of coagulation and athletic injuries that cause a tear in the neck arteries.
The bottom line: Know your medical history and take treatment for known conditions. Punch