"When you exercise and see that you're getting stronger, you also gain confidence," Steinbaum said.
She added that there may also be specific underlying reasons for sexual dysfunction after a heart attack -- not only depression, but medication side effects or abnormal thyroid hormone activity, for example. That's another reason it's important to talk about sexual issues with your doctor, Steinbaum pointed out.
"If you don't feel like you're getting back to normal after a heart attack," she said, "it's not your fault."
There's more on sex and heart disease at the American Heart Association.
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