Changes of blood pressure and heart rate during sexual activity in healthy adults

Blood Press Monit. 2008 Aug;13(4):211-7. doi: 10.1097/MBP.0b013e3283057a71.


Objective: This study is to observe the changes of blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), double product (DP) and heart rate variability during sexual activity in healthy adults before we cover patients with chronic cardiovascular disease.

Methods: Forty-nine participants grouped by sex, 22 males, aged 40.6+/-7.8 years; 27 females, aged 40.3+/-7.8 years, underwent simultaneous ambulatory monitoring of BP and HR for 24 h. During the monitoring period, sexual activity of the participants with man-on-top in their familiar environment was performed. Participants were requested to measure BP manually at the beginning of each sexual phase and three times after orgasm in every 10-min interval and 60 min after orgasm. For each individual, eight measuring values, respectively, about BP, HR, DP and heart rate variability were obtained from baseline to 1 h after orgasm. The data were statistically analyzed with paired t-test and the significant level was set at P<0.05.

Results: In both groups, the peak BP did not appear at orgasm, but at the beginning of plateau and dropped to baseline level at 10 min after orgasm (male 141.41+/-17.13/91.05+/-13.69 vs. 120.14+/-11.07/72.86+/-7.78 mmHg, female 121.67+/-16.61/77.37+/-15.03 vs. 109.37+/-10.54/67.19+/-9.41 mmHg). The peak HR occurred at the beginning of orgasm, and dropped to baseline level 10-20 min after orgasm (male 96.36+/-11.96 vs. 75.41+/-9.02 bpm, female 90.19+/-10.38 vs. 71.44+/-5.68 bpm). DP of both groups elevated at the beginning of plateau and orgasm then decreased to baseline level 10 min after orgasm (male 12964.27+/-2659.17 vs. 9134.09+/-1469.58 mmHg bpm, female 10044.48+/-1777.89 vs. 7841.30+/-1023.79 mmHg bpm). All the results showed that BP, HR and DP have mild to moderate changes during sexual activity in healthy adults.

Conclusion: Using ambulatory technology to monitor BP and HR helps us to get the real data in participants during sexual activity. BP, HR and DP increase just slightly for a short time and recover to baseline level soon after sexual activity in healthy adults. The physical exhaustion during sexual activity is within the range of the daily-life workload.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Coitus / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm / physiology*