The lighted headiness, the loss of balance, the blackouts, and moments of confusion. If you suffer from postural tachycardia as I do, then you know these symptoms can occur during the most inconvenient times. One of these moments is during sex sometimes, leading to a moment of slight embarrassment.
At times I’ve laid in bed and jokingly said to my partner that the pleasure was so intense it made me faint.
Postural Tachycardia or more commonly known as POTs, is a condition that causes an individual to become faint as their blood pressure drops and heart rate spikes. It can be a very scary thing to happen, making many mistaken it as a panic attack or even more worryingly a heart attack. POTs is often diagnosed by a cardiologist through checking your heart rate from seated to standing, as different postural positions can trigger its onset.
Due to changes in posture affecting the condition it can lead to falls and balance issues too. Some people find certain things trigger flare-ups more too. Making the condition a bit unpredictable at times.
Over the years I have noticed the condition having moments of calm and then episodes of extreme. I’ve had to pop to a and e a few times, with an extreme heart rate, and generally very few doctors know how to deal with it. It wasn’t until diagnosis that I learned some factors to help, and that even then, some days when it’s bad you just need to lie down and wait for it to pass.
Below are some of the following tips I have found helpful when it comes to enjoying sex and POTs. I hope some may give you some insight into how to reduce flare-ups during this pleasurable activity, but it’s worth remembering to take time to chat with your health specialist if it is particularly getting in the way of your intimate moments.
When I’m going through phases of POTs flare-ups that are particularly bad, positions that are missionary focused and, on your back, helps keep my heart rate from racing to the extremes. Sure, we can expect a little bit of a raised heart rate from sex as it’s a physical activity, but upright positions when you suffer from POTs can send it into tachycardia. If you’re having regular episodes but want to try different positions, maybe explore seated variations, where you can support your body on your partner. The key to positions also is try to avoid positions that change you from lying to upright too suddenly. If you want to alter the position mid-flow, roll onto your side slowly and help support yourself up into a different sex position rather than just rushing into it.
Sex Position Pillows
Position pillows and sex supports can help you explore positions that may make your body move in unstable ways and sometimes trigger POTs. Unwanted side effects of postural tachycardia can also mean that you lose your balance at times and can fall, position pillows and supports can help prevent you from experiencing an injury. Some positional pillows are tilted too so you can slowly progress from a flat lying position to a slightly raise position, without being too upright.
Keep Cool & Stay Hydrated
Some find that their POTs is worse in hotter weather, this is possibly due to dehydration. Making sure you have sex in a cool room can help. Adding a fan in the room can be an option, but if you want something sexier then maybe explore ice play and cold massage lotions on particularly hot days.
Keeping up your fluids can help reduce POTs onset. Making sure you have a drink at hand and take regular breaks to hydrate is important. Electrolyte drinks can be better for some as upping these can help your body retain fluid easier.
Food for Thought
If you’re aiming for a romantic meal or movie and snacks beforehand then overindulging can be bad when you have POTs. Eating too much can trigger high heart rates in some, but not only that, it can make physical activity and sex uncomfortable. Aim for a light meal, with maybe adding in some erotic food play during sex, to space out food if you can.
Let your partner know about your POTs and reassure them that if something does happen that you’re ok. Have a list of things they can do to help if it is triggered during lovemaking so they can be there for you fully. It can be scary watching someone you care about pass out or lose balance and having a little shut to reassure them that this is your normal can help.
Wear something tight.
Compression garments are sometimes prescribed to POTs suffers, but let’s be honest, they may do the job but they don’t make you feel overly sexy. Whilst clingy lingerie and stocking may not have as good of as an affect as those medical aids, some report tight-fitting clothing help. Exploring sex with stockings or crotchless tights also may add to the erotic moment.
Schedule & Rebook
At times we just need to say that today is not the day for sexy fun. If you’re experiencing a bad POTs day but want to connect with your partner, maybe take the time to lie on the sofa with a movie, or rest in bed and read with added snuggling. Don’t feel bad for not having sex, because remember you both should be comfortable and, in the mood, to fully enjoy it.
Some people are able to take medication for their POTs. If you have been prescribed medication, then don’t forget to take it when needed to reduce symptoms. If your medication isn’t working for you then you need to speak with your health professional and hopefully, they will be able to help.
POTs is often a lifelong condition, although at times is a side effect from medications, this is why seeing your doctor is important to get a correct diagnosis.
It’s worth remembering that with any health condition you will have good days and bad days.