A woman nearly died after a ‘pop’ to her chest during sex turned out to be a life-threatening medical condition.
The 45-year-old had just peaked when she felt a sharp pain coursing through her body.
She and her husband rushed from their home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to the emergency department of their nearest hospital.
Staff were told that the woman’s legs were “pressed against her chest and during her orgasm she felt a ‘pop'” followed by intense heat on her back.
She also reported feeling sick and short of breath.
When asked how to rate her pain, the struggling woman rated it 10/10.
She was later discovered to have had a form of acute aortic syndrome (AAS), a potentially life-threatening spectrum of conditions.
Doctors had discovered a leak in her aorta, a large artery that carries blood through the body, more than an inch in diameter.
Her case, and others of its kind, call for immediate treatment to prevent death or significant complications.
AAS has a high mortality rate, which has been reported to increase by 1% for every hour a patient is left untreated, and up to 22% of cases are undiagnosed at the time of death.
The circumstances surrounding the woman’s diagnosis — the fact that it was caused by sex — have now been examined in more detail by scientists in a new journal.
Baffled investigators admitted it was “not a commonly reported event.”
Researchers explained in the paper: ‘Our case is unusual in that our patient was a woman, representing a smaller proportion of AAS cases, and she had consensual intercourse with her husband; however, she had baseline risk factors for AAS, including untreated, uncontrolled hypertension and a history of tobacco abuse.”
It was noted that the woman was a heavy smoker and smoked about six or seven cigarettes a day.
AAS is more common in men – who have occasionally reported their outbreak of pain during intercourse or during masturbation.
Scientists say the problem has been reported in “some literature” but remains uncommon.
Their paper also referred to heart attacks during sexual situations and how certain situations, such as cheating, can increase the risk.
Researchers added: ‘The risk of sudden cardiac death also shows similar patterns, with an incidence reported of 0.19% in men and 0.16% in women, often noted during masturbation, sexual interaction with prostitutes or extramarital sexual activity.
“As previously mentioned, the risk of sudden cardiac death during sex is correlated with adultery, which can cause an intensified or unforeseen emotional response that makes a person more susceptible to ASD or sudden cardiac death.”
The study’s findings will also help determine how “physiological changes” and “stress of intercourse” affect people.
The woman’s case can be read in full in the American Journal of Case Reports.
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