Most people know that hypertension or high blood pressure increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks and stroke. But did you know that hypertension can also wreak havoc on your sex life, too?
The findings of the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that almost half of the male participants with ages ranging from 40 to 79 suffering from hypertension also suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Another study found that 68 percent of men with high blood pressure suffer from erectile dysfunction, and 45 percent of them suffered from severe sexual impotence.
To better understand more about how hypertension affects your ability to achieve an erection, here is what happens during an erection:
You may think erection is as simple as the enlarging of your penis through stimulation and arousal. What you don’t know, erection is a complex process that involves several body systems.
The shaft of your penis has two chambers made of small arteries, veins and elastic tissues on each side, called the corpora cavernosa. Below them is another chamber called the corpus spongiosum, and at the center of the shaft is the urethra or the passageway of semen and urine.
Upon stimulation and arousal, your brain sends signals to the nerve endings of your penis causing the muscle tissues to relax and the arteries to dilate, so blood can flow and fill the empty spaces.
The pressure of the blood flow makes the sheath of tissue expand and press on the veins, and this mechanism stops the blood from flowing out. More blood flows in until your penis enlarges and stiffens. Without enough of a supply of blood, you won’t be able to get a full erection.
Once the excitement and arousal ebb, the sheath tissue contracts and relievesthe pressure on the veins. This allows blood to flow out of the penile shaft and return it to its normal size. Here are three things you should know about hypertension and how it can affect your sex life:
1. Hypertension Makes It Difficult To Get An Erection
The heart pumps blood to the arteries and capillaries to provide enough supply throughout your body. Sometimes, the blood forcefully passes into these passageways, creating too much pressure.
Since the arteries and blood vessels are slightly elastic tissues, they stretch to accommodate more flow of blood. If the pressure gets too high constantly, your arteries and blood vessels will stretch beyond its limit every time until they become damaged.
High blood pressure can lead to many health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, strokes and blood clots. The damaged area also encourages plaque build-up,which can block blood flow throughout your body including your penis.
Without enough blood supply in your penis, it will be difficult for you to achieve and sustain an erection. It can also affect your libido and orgasms.
Even men in their 30’s may suffer from high blood pressure and consequently, erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure has little to no symptoms, and if you are having troubles staying erect, it could be a sign your blood pressure is going overboard. Set an appointment with your doctor for a blood pressure check and to screen for other health risks.
2. Your Or Your Partner May Lose Sexual Desire Due To Hypertension
Your ladylove may suffer from the effects of hypertension and if one or both of you are suffering from it, hypertension can really zap your bedroom stints, prevent you from having a healthy sex life and eventually strain your relationship.
According to Dr. Lundberg, a preventive cardiologist, interest in sex and libido may decline in women suffering from high blood pressure.
If a woman feels exhausted and fatigued all the time, how will she be inclined to have sex? Apart from that, high blood pressure may lessen her sensitivity to stimulation due to decreased blood flow in her genital area. Intercourse may become less pleasurable and reaching orgasm may also be difficult.
3. Erectile Dysfunction Could Be A Side Effect Of Hypertension Medication
To make matters worse, the medications your doctor is prescribing may also cause erectile dysfunction.
Prescription meds for high blood pressure, particularly beta blockers can alter your nervous system’s reaction to excitement and stimulation. It can also limit the dilation of your blood vessels, therefore limiting blood flow to your penis.
If you have hypertension, you may also be advised to take diuretics to get rid of excess water and salt in the body. Diuretics may also decrease blood flow to your genitals and drain zinc,which is necessary for testosterone production.
However, people with hypertension should not stop taking the prescribed medications just to regain their sexual functions unless the doctor tells them to do so. Quitting your medications increases your risk of the complications of hypertension, such as heart disease and stroke. Talk to your doctor first about alternative meds.Or, if is it possible for you to take acombination of meds to maintain an active sex life.
You may take your prescription meds together with erectile dysfunction medications, such as Cialis, Levitra and Viagra. Before you take any of these three, be open to your doctor about your other existing meds, specifically nitrates for chest pain and other health conditions. ED medications can interact with the drugs from other medications and cause adverse reactions. Likewise, existing health conditions may make you prone to serious complications.
You may also try a natural male enhancer, such as Extenze. It is made from a unique blend of herbs each known to enhance erection and stamina. Extenze is made from natural ingredients and may be a good option for you.
If you want to keep hypertension from ruining your sex life, the best way to do it is to prevent it in the first place. If you already have hypertension, keep your blood pressure in control by making healthy life choices, such as the following:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Limit intake of food high in salt.
- Maintain an active lifestyle through exercise.
- Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight to achieve a healthy weight.
- Deal with stress effectively.
- Quit smoking and avoid drinking too much alcohol.
Hypertension can keep you from staying sexually active. Worse, medications may also do the same, but this does not mean you can stop taking them. By making healthy lifestyle changes, you can keep your blood pressure in check and maybe even regain your sex life.
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