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Fibrillation and Bradycardia after orgasm
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Fibrillation and Bradycardia after orgasm

Hi,

I'm a 26 year old female and I've noticed that after I orgasm, my heart rate slows down drastically and the beat becomes irregular. I dont experience faintness or dizzyness or chest pain during this event. The only additional symptom is that my heart beat feels extremely strong. I normally have low blood pressure and my normal heart rate is usually 70-80. The events can last from 10 seconds to a few minutes.

I have had an ECG within the past year and there were no abnormal findings. When I exercise, my heart rate increases as one would expect.

Is this normal or should I get my heart checked out by a doctor?
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I notice the "fibrillation" in your heading? I don't think atrial fibrillation manifest with a sudden slow heart rate (it may, but this is very uncommon). After an orgasm, if you went into AF, your heart rate would likely be far above 100.

That said, what you experience is very common and I have this myself. Sometimes after brief exercise like climbing 4-5 levels of stairs, but strangely enough it's far worse after sex. I think I remember one doctor explaining it to me once, it has something to do with your vagus nerve (the nerve responsible for slowing your heart rate) kicks in after having an orgasm, which slows the heart rate. This will be felt as strong beats because your circulation (how rapid the blood circulated in liter pr minute) is "lagging" compared to the heart rate, so the heart is filled with more blood for each stroke.

Adrenalin, on the other hand, has a half-life of three minutes in the body, so when your vagus nerve is slowing the heart rate, other spots in the heart are still stimulated by adrenalin and may produce lots of premature beats (PACs or PVCs) which may cause the irregular heart rhythm. You may also occationally have a PAC or a PVC after every normal heart beat, which will be experienced as a slow rhythm (this is less likely).

Yes, what you experience is probably normal but it's never wrong to ask a doctor if you have questions regarding the heart. Those things can get stuck on your mind and possibly affect your sexual life, so if you are in doubt, ask your doctor.

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